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Latest update : 2012-04-06

France, welcome no more?

Is France still a welcoming country for foreigners? Over the past ten years, it has certainly become more difficult to be a legal immigrant in France. What is the impact of this policy on the daily lives of immigrants? To find out, our reporters went to meet three of them.

Covering the theme of immigration in the middle of the French presidential campaign is not easy. It has become a central issue in the campaign, and has given rise to sometimes heated debates between candidates. Voters hear assertions, questions and occasional falsehoods. Out of pure populism, some candidates exaggerate the facts and distort reality. And yet, behind all the talk are men and women who have chosen to come and live legally in France.

Riadh, a young Tunisian graduate, was invited by France to pursue his studies here. But today he is being asked to leave the country, after a memo from Interior Minister Claude Guéant aimed at reducing immigration. Riadh, an aeronautic engineer, invited us to share a few days of his daily life. He had everything to succeed in a brilliant career in France. Today, he no longer has any residency papers.

Mizi fled Bangladesh for political reasons. Claiming he was threatened in his home country, he obtained asylum in France. But since last year, France no longer considers his country dangerous.

Finally, in the countryside of Normandy, we meet Marthe Flore. She hails from Cameroon and is married to a Frenchman. The couple is highly indebted. Only the husband works because his wife’s provisional residency permit does not allow her to do so. In a few weeks, she will have to leave the country.

By Willy BRACCIANO

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