In my opinion France is doomed if it doesn’t get immigration under control. Sarkozy knows it too. So he wants out of a Europe-wide agreement which allows people to enter one lax European country then travel to France unchecked. He is also being dogged on the campaign trail by Marine Le Pen whose party is all about stopping immigration.
I saw a poll the other day that puts the Open Borders Socialist candidate in first place at the moment.
This is from Agencie France Press. What happens in Europe should be a warning to us!
President Nicolas Sarkozy threatened in a key election rally Sunday to pull France out of Europe’s 26-nation visa free zone unless the European Union does more to keep out illegal immigrants.
Sarkozy, who this week said France had too many foreigners, made the threat at a mass meeting which he hopes will turn the tide against front-running Socialist Francois Hollande with just 42 days to go before election day.
The so-called Schengen passport-free zone must urgently be overhauled to fight the flow of illegal immigration, said the right-wing leader, returning to a constant theme in his bid for five more years at the Elysee palace.
To chants of “Nicolas, president!” from the tens of thousands in the flag-waving audience, Sarkozy said unchecked immigration would put extra strain on social safety nets for Europe’s poorest.
“In the coming 12 months, (if) there is no serious progress towards this (reforming Schengen), France would then suspend its participation in the Schengen accords until negotiations conclude,” he declared.
The Schengen area is home to 400 million Europeans who can cross borders without a passport, and once inside the area illegal immigrants can theoretically move freely between the participating states.
Sarkozy accuses some EU states of having lax border controls that let in illegals who may later turn up in France.
So you are not confused about which immigrants he is most concerned about, the crowd gets it.
He got the loudest cheer of the rally when he reminded his supporters he had banned Islamic veils in France and was opposed to having special Islamic halal meals in school canteens.
Le Pen in hot pursuit:
But his critics have accused him of fishing for support from voters who lean towards the National Front, the anti-immigrant, anti-EU party led by Marine Le Pen, who polls put in third place in the presidential race.
I suspect Le Pen would say that Sarkozy wouldn’t do much on the problem if he is re-elected.
Meanwhile, closer to home, Richard Falknor writing at Blue Ridge Forum tells us how Boehner and the boys are turning a blind eye to immigration concerns and some Maryland candidates for Congress are squishy on the issue too.
Republican candidates for President have been pretty silent on the problem lately as well. They should take a cue from Sarkozy because whether in France or America this is an issue the electorate cares deeply about.