Sat. Jul 20th, 2024

Are pro-immigration sentiments more electoral cynicism than conviction in the US and France?

By b0oua Mar 30, 2024

This is FIGAROVOX/TRIBUNE. The columnist Eliott Mamane makes the observation that politicians in France, just like in the United States, dispatch busloads of migrants en masse. On the other hand, he explains that the reasoning is the opposite.

It just so happens that the political environments of the United States and France are both amusing due to the fact that they are symmetrical. Serge Grouard ignited a national uproar when he disclosed that the government was moving buses full of migrants from Paris to Orléans “on the sly” and without prior consultation. This revelation was made in advance of the Olympic Games, but the Loiret prefecture has denied any connection with the approaching event.

On the other hand, Republican governors in the United States have been the ones to speak out about the matter over the past two years. These right-wing political figures believed that the discrepancies in perception from one territory to another were primarily explained by the unequal distribution of persons welcomed on American soil. They blamed Democratic states for their inaction in the face of the migratory issue. Democrats were blamed for their inaction.

The first significant incident in this region was prompted by Ron DeSantis, who requested that fifty asylum applicants board a plane that was travelling from Florida to Martha’s Vineyard, a coastal vacation that is popular among Democratic elites on the East Coast. Following the conclusion of the event, which received a great deal of attention at the time, Joe Biden made a statement in which he indicated that the operation was “inhumane.”

When confronted with what they consider to be inertia on the part of the federal administration in regard to the migration crisis (nearly 10,000 people illegally cross the border into the southern region of the country every single day), a number of Republican leaders have made the decision to employ a method of action that is the most offensive.

Greg Abbott, the governor of Texas, for example, has made it a habit to send a portion of this flow of undocumented immigrants to locations in other states in the United States where the population is primarily Democratic. This is because Texas is on the front line due to the fact that its territory is adjacent to Mexico. According to him, these operations are so successful in the eyes of Texans that the travels are supported by donations from the general people rather than financial support from the government.

On the other hand, the manoeuvre that was criticised by the mayor of Orleans appears to be a response to political imperatives of a different kind. There is, first and foremost, a short-term purpose, regardless of what the Loiret prefecture may say (which is that the movement of migrants from one region to another has no connection to the current state of sporting life in France).

In point of fact, it would appear that the authorities in charge of public affairs have the intention of transforming the capital into a city that is half Olympic and half Potemkin, or, to put it another way, removing all that is characteristic of Paris, including its cultural legacy and its problems.

In addition, the operation is a part of a longer-term framework, and the government has acknowledged the existence of a plan that aims to distribute migrants and other asylum seekers evenly around the country. This is done in order to prevent a concentration of these individuals in the Île-de-France region.

Putting it succinctly, the presidential concept is based on the idea of spreading a problem that, up until this point, was confined to the capital alone. After being initially defended by Emmanuel Macron as a response to the demographic decline of “rural areas, which are losing population,” the proposal was swiftly condemned by the opposition due to the fact that it would constitute a cry for air for newcomers.

Additionally, the administration maintained that the deconcentration of migrants will result in improved integration of the population. As a result, the president emphasised that the measure would make it possible to “accelerate their education” and “integrate much more quickly and much better those who even have a provisional title by language and through work.” This was done during the presentation of the plan that took place during the conference of prefects in September 2022.

There is a degree of overlap between the American and French controversies, which ultimately results in a symmetrical response. In point of fact, it is perfectly pertinent to assert, from an intellectual standpoint, that the categorization of immigrants into communities that are distinct from the national community is a factor that prevents a genuine policy of acculturation to the country that is hosting them.

On the other hand, we must not overlook the electoral repercussions of such a rearrangement of the territory, which may be favourable to the presidential bloc. When Republican governors in the United States transfer migrants from their state to a Democratic state, the primary goal is to directly confront the wealthiest populations with the negative externalities of massive and uncontrolled immigration. It is undeniably true that on one side of the Atlantic and on the other, higher social categories live in places that are protected from them. This is the primary objective of the transfer of migrants. Some people believe that the only noticeable effect of immigration is an increase in the available labour force.

Across the Atlantic, the distribution of these populations, despite the fact that it is extremely targeted, is intended to persuade voters who are on the left to become more familiar with the day-to-day activities of a more popular portion of the country population. First and foremost, it is important to point out that neither France nor the United States of America have proportional elections, and the most common voting method is the use of single national lists.

Instead of being quantitatively in the majority at the national level, it is more important to have the ability to have votes everywhere on the territory. This is because it is the capacity to have voters everywhere that counts.

Even if these entrants were to be regularised and receive civil rights in the medium term, the Republicans realise that they are not running the risk of losing prospective votes on the other side of the Atlantic by sending migrants to locations that are already extremely democratic. They are aware of this fact.

In particular, the Democrats’ laxity at the border could be explained by their desire to “import future voters,” according to a notion that is regularly disseminated by conservative media outlets.

It appears that the presentation of pro-immigration attitudes in the United States is more about electoral cynicism than it is about a genuine ideological conviction underlying those ideas. Where does France stand?


By b0oua

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