Under the scheme, Paris will provide each family with a nest egg of €6,000 ($8,000) for when they go back to their country of origin.Depositing the stipend at a bank in the migrant's home country is prudent. In addition to helping insure those who're paid to leave actually do head back home, it will also increase support for the initiative in the governments of those countries relative to simply giving the stipend to the migrant and telling him to be on his way. From the Morrocan government's perspective, France is saying: "This guy left your country a few years ago. Now he's coming back. Congratulations, your economy just received an $8,000 injection for free."
Critics will argue that $8,000 comes nowhere near making up for the entitlements to be accrued by a migrant who elects to remain in France. Stateside, low-skilled workers create an annual net taxpayer liability of over $22,000 per capita. While ascertaining demographic attributes in France is even more difficult than in the US, since the French government doesn't inquire about the race or ethnicity of its residents, in 2002 a private thinktank found that half of the foreign-born in France do menial jobs compared to the one-quarter of natives who do, are twice as likely to be unemployed as their native cohorts, and are three times as likely as natives to make only the minimum wage. The French entitlement structure is even more generous to the impoverished than the one in the US is. So it's safe to assume that for most of the migrants the new initiative will apply to, recouping the $8,000 given up will only take a matter of months.
Undoubtedly, $8,000 is a bargain from a French economic perspective. But that's exactly why Sarkozy is right to give it a shot. And a couple of factors are working in his favor.
The difference between real purchasing power and the official exchange rate for money moving from a developed nation like France to virtually anywhere in northern Africa or the Near East is going to differ substantially, to the benefit of those returning home to enjoy their deposit. In Azerbaijan, for example, that $8,000 will buy about as much stuff as $35,000 will buy in France. And with a per capita income of $7,300, the stipend will be akin to a 13-month severance pay back home.
Also, those most likely to take the offer will also be the migrants France wants most to be rid of. Whether it be because the migrant is desperately in need of money, isn't intelligent enough to realize that getting couple marshmallows down the road is better than snatching a single marshmallow now, or is so alienated by French cultural values that he can't bear to stay, his departure is especially propitious for France.
Notice that the proposed stipend is for legal immigrants. For those who've entered the country illegally, the Sarkozy government is unequivocally opposed to any sort of amnesty:
Hortefeux is also talking tough when it comes to dealing with illegal immigration, insisting that there are no plans for a mass legalization of the estimated 200,000 to 400,000 illegals in France.Contrast that to the disaster our derelict elites are trying in secret to force upon us. Sarkozy has frequently been portrayed as being amiable toward the US, claiming his nation can learn a few things from us. I'd say we can learn a few things from France as well. Perhaps other Congressional representatives will pick up on what most of the GOP Presidential contenders already have--flooding the US with low-skilled, unhealthy, uneducated, impoverished, culturally-backward third-worlders for the short-term benefit of big business and long-term gain of big government entitlements is not something the public wants any part of, and that if you force it upon us, there will be hell to pay.
Hortefeux echoes a common complaint heard from immigration reformists in the US:
The new minister voiced concern that the majority of legal immigration into France was that of existing immigrants bringing in relatives, while only a small proportion were granted visas due to their professional skills.This is so blatantly obvious. A nation should 'recruit' people for the same reason any other entity does--to benefit the entity. Whether it be a sports team, a business, or an elite university, these entities want people who'll increase their success, their profitability, and their prestige. The desirable standard of living that the nations of the Occident can boast should be leveraged as a competitive advantage to take in the most prosperous, assimilated immigrants possible.
"To be integrated, you need language skills and a professional activity," he told RFI, and said he is considering introducing a language test to prospective immigrants.
For the French plan to be effective, of course, a severe restricting of family-based naturalization will have to be enforced, and tougher measures will have to be taken to remove illegal immigrants already in the country as well as to keep more illegal immigrants from coming in. Fortunately, that stance is gaining momentum across the EU.