Immigrants in France

by Saki Sato

I report the problem of international immigration in France. There are many second-generation and later generation immigrants who have other country origin on the French national soccer team. For example, famous soccer player, Zidane is Algerian second-generation immigrant. And there are also players of Senegalese immigrants. Contrary to the image that European consists of almost white races, various races exist in France.

France has received many immigrants and political refugees from Spain, Portugal, Eastern European countries and so on traditionally. France had suffered from lack of a labor shortage supporting high growth after the Second World War. So the government received a lot of immigrants to solve it. Many immigrants are engaged in low wage earning. But after the oil crisis in 1974, the government decided to stop receiving immigrants who intending to start working in France because of the economic depression by the oil crisis and a strike against bad working conditions. Now France is distressed by integration of immigrants. But prominent talented persons who emigrated to France have been made progress in culture and science. They also play an active part in the political, the economic, the sporting and the music world.

But in the world of black people in France, unemployment and crime rate is problem. There is sometimes trouble between immigrants and non-immigrants, for example French civil unrest in 2005. In suburb of Paris, when policemen investigating a trial for robbery chased three North African-French youths, they ran into a substation and two of them were electrocuted and one of them was injured seriously. That was how it all started. At same night, dozens of young people threw stones at firefighters and the police and set fire to cars. The riot had spread throughout France. The then-Home Secretary Sarkozy’s remark “They are the dregs of society” , his measure for the peace and regulations against immigrants made the riot bigger. The suburb that the incident had occurred has turned into a slum. And there are many housing complexes which immigrants live and there are discrimination, poverty and unemployment problems. The matter in the incident is that the youth victims were second-generation immigrants, immigrants so they must be real French. But people who were born in France like them are discriminated against socially and are forced to live in poverty and unemployment.

There is much discrimination against immigrants in other country, too. Of course, Japan is one example. Immigrants have serious reason for immigrating. I think it is wrong to despise and discriminate against immigrants.

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