FRANCE'S PLAN: PAY 'EM TO GO HOME
April 25, 2006
As demonstrations intensify and legislation stalls in the United States over the status of illegal immigrants, France has taken another tack, says BusinessWeek.
- France offers cash payments -- the equivalent of about $2,400 per adult and $600 per child -- to illegals who agree to return to their native countries; the government began to offer the payments last September but so far has found fewer than 200 takers.
- Critics say the payments are too low to entice many of France's estimated 400,000 illegals to say adieu.
- France is also getting tougher on those who don't leave voluntarily; since 2002, the number of illegals expelled annually from the country has doubled, to 20,000 last year.
Meanwhile, French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy is spearheading legislation to make it easier for well-educated, highly skilled immigrants to enter the country. Sarkozy, the front-runner in the 2007 French presidential race, is himself the son of an immigrant. His father fled communist Hungary in 1949 and was granted refugee status in France.
Source: Carol Matlack, "France's Plan: Pay 'Em To Go Home," BusinessWeek, April 24, 2006.
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