Macron Proposes Repopulating Rural Areas with Migrants

Macron Proposes Repopulating Rural Areas with Migrants

French president Emmanuel Macron has proposed creating a bill next year to reform France’s immigration and asylum policies, including a proposal to redistribute migrants to rural areas facing demographic decline.

The French president stated that a bill to reform the French immigration and asylum system would be tabled at the start of next year, arguing that the current policy was “absurd” and that it was both “inefficient and inhumane”.

“We have a policy that is both inefficient and inhumane, inefficient because we find ourselves with more foreigners in an irregular situation than many of our neighbours, inhumane because this pressure means that they are too often badly received,” President Macron said, the newspaper Le Figaro reports.

According to a report from November of last year, French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin estimated the illegal alien population of France to be between 600,000 and 700,000 people.

“France has far fewer illegal immigrants than most of the major countries in Europe, starting with Great Britain: between 1 and 1.5 million against 600,000 to 700,000 for us,” he said, in an effort to downplay the issue.

President Macron, who made his remarks on Thursday, also called for a new system to redistribute migrants across France, specifically in “rural areas, which are losing population,” arguing that “the conditions for their reception will be much better than if we put them in areas that are already densely populated, with a concentration of massive economic and social problems.”

Similar policies have been suggested in other countries in recent years, including Germany, where in 2016 it was suggested that villages and small towns could help integrate asylum seekers better and the asylum seekers would help counter demographic decline.