Immigration seems to be the theme chosen by French politicians for the presidential campaign that started a year ahead of schedule in France.
And it is not only the National Front that denounces the situation. The French minister of the interior multiplies the statements on immigration, and the moderate right also takes up the subject. In short, there is every reason to believe that the future of the country is conditional on the way candidates will deal with the issue of immigration. And to amplify the whole, the French media are already predicting a cataclysm with a Le Pen in the second round, knowing full well that the polls mean absolutely nothing.
In Switzerland, where we are much more in the “political correctness”, we address the subjects in a slightly less emotional but equally real way: in a canton like Geneva, we point the finger at expatriates, the UDC plays its usual role, and the Greens of Ecopop are preparing to launch a popular initiative to limit immigration for environmental reasons.
Faced with such an outcry on both sides of the border, I decided to look at the issue a little bit. And what I discovered left me quite perplexed.
The Number Of Immigrants To France Who Come To Settle Is Equivalent To The Number Of Immigrants To Switzerland
So be aware: Switzerland, with a population of about 7.8 million, has an immigration equivalent to that of France, which has 65.8 million inhabitants, more than 8 times more than Switzerland…
What is interesting is also the nature of migrants: in Switzerland, work-related immigration accounts for almost half of migrants, while in France it is just 18%.
If we look at family ties, we see on the French side on average that for a foreigner who comes to work, 3.5 family members come to France on the grounds of family reunification. In Switzerland, the ratio is reversed since for a foreigner who comes to work in Switzerland, 0.7 family members come to settle in Switzerland…
I believe that, in the light of these simple figures, it is easy to say that the problem of the French government should not be to limit immigration (which is essential for the growth of the country), but rather to carry out more controls on the family ties of foreigners. Because I will not be made to swallow that all foreigners who come to work in France have, on average, a spouse and more than 2 children.
One-year Swiss Immigration Accounts For About 1.5% Of The Swiss Population
The figures of immigration to Switzerland are impressive, relative to the population (Swiss immigration in one year represents about 1.5% of the total population, compared to less than 0.2% for France). But to ensure its growth, the country has no real choice and needs these foreigners. In any event, I find Swiss concerns on the subject more than legitimate, unlike France, whose policies seem to play more on emotion and fear than on actual statistics.
And without wanting to make politics, we can ask the following question: without immigration problems, the FN no longer exists. However, the only real chance for the French president to re-elect for a second term, currently, would be to find himself in the second round with Marine Le Pen. Which may explain why we’ve been talking so much about immigration lately.
The Question Of Integration
All this does not appear in these statistics, but it is also questionable whether the fundamental question would not be rather the integration of foreigners: while in France their number is particularly small, in comparison with the population, compared to Switzerland, it seems quite obvious that the policy of integration in France is a stinging failure. In Switzerland, even though more than 20% of the resident population is foreign, we must still admit that the system works, despite some problems. Perhaps it is time for the French authorities to take inspiration from Swiss methods. But I’ll tell you about it in another post.
What do you think of these numbers?