France Should Stop Warrantless Deportation
In a national effort to prove xenophobia is not a characteristic exclusive to the United States, the nation of France has deported nearly 100 Gypsies to their native Romania. The Gypsy (also known as Roma) expulsion is the result of President Nicolas Sarkozy’s attempt to demolish Roma camps scattered throughout France.
Many French citizens are proponents of Sarkozy’s policy, due to a national stigma toward people of Romanian decent. The national zeitgeist toward the Roma people was reinforced by Sarkozy’s claim that Roma camps are sources of trafficking, exploitation of children, and prostitution. These claims, coupled with the recent Roma attack on a French police station after an officer killed a Roma youth, contribute to the anti-Roma rhetoric drowning out the voices of dissent to the President’s policy.
Supporters argue that the government offers deportees 300 Euros per adult and 100 per child to voluntarily leave. They claim that the financial compensation is not only an incentive to migrate, but is an opportunity for the impoverished Roma to start a new and more productive life.
Unfortunately, the misguided supporters of Gypsy repatriation fail to realize the fallacies of this policy. Romania is a member of the European Union. This means that the Roma within France are not there illegally. This makes Frances deportation policy completely unwarranted. Romania’s EU status also means Roma’s can agree to the deportation terms and promptly return to France 300 Euros richer.
Despite the fact this policy is a blatant disingenuous solution to France’s immigration problems, the political benefits are immediate. Voluntary departures increase the annual rate of expulsions, a figure the government wears as a badge of honor. Other critics argue the sudden crackdown is a political ploy to divert public scrutiny of France’s wounded economy.
In order for France to truly find a solution to its immigration problems, it must realize that using policy that marginalizes a particular group, for the sake of political expediency, is detrimental to the country as a whole.