The concept of the pull of air, a “myth” on the coronary heart of immigration regulation | EUROtoday

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The immigration regulation handed on Tuesday and fiercely defended on Wednesday by Emmanuel Macron is basically based mostly on the speculation of inflow, which maintains that migrants select France due to its advantageous social system. Problem: no analysis demonstrates the validity of this discourse, which has nonetheless change into omnipresent in public debate.

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Restriction of circumstances of entry to help, limitation of regularization of undocumented employees, tightening of household reunification, creation of an offense of unlawful keep: the immigration regulation handed on Tuesday December 19 within the Senate and the National Assembly contains quite a few measures geared toward discouraging migrants – authorized and unlawful – from coming to France.

On unlawful immigration, which he considers to symbolize a “problem” in France, Emmanuel Macron himself acknowledged, Wednesday night on France 5, that the regulation aimed “very clearly” to cut back flows. And for this, the President of the Republic accepted the measures imposed by the Les Républicains (LR) social gathering making it attainable to restrict the supposed extreme generosity of the French social system.

A imaginative and prescient of immigration and a discourse which relies, believes the thinker Jérôme Lèbre, on “a known element of far-right mythology”: the speculation of the pull of air. “It consists of asserting that the countries which best welcome migrants, or even the associations which rescue them at sea, instantly cause the arrival of new migrants, therefore aggravating the problem they seek to resolve; it is therefore necessary that each The State actively organizes the internal conditions of its inhospitality and fights against the humanitarian actions of citizens,” he describes in an article published in 2019 in the journal of ideas Lignes.

It is thus, due to the fear of a draft, that deputies and senators The Republicans have continued to oppose the article of the government’s initial bill aimed at regularizing workers without papers in professions in tension, making this question a red line in their negotiations with the executive.

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And it is again with this theory in mind that they imposed the measures, inspired by the national preference dear to the far right, of a deadline imposed on non-European foreigners to receive family allowances, the personalized housing assistance (APL) or personalized autonomy allowance (Apa).

“This is a real turning point. What we have proposed will put an end to the migratory pull that made our country the most generous social model in Europe,” declared the boss of LR, Éric Ciotti. , after the conclusion of the agreement, Tuesday, in the joint committee (CMP).

The SOUL, symbol of a dichotomy between discourse and reality

However, no study confirms the air pull theory. On the contrary, “the distribution of migrants and refugees throughout Europe has no hyperlink with the generosity of social safety: the pull of air is a delusion that has by no means been demonstrated”, asserts in a column published Wednesday, in following the adoption of the immigration law, the Convergences Migrations Institute, which brings together more than 700 social science researchers across France under the aegis of the CNRS.

“Migrations don’t want an enchantment to happen. They are the results of the pure exercise of men and women or else, the results of constraint, poverty, persecution, environmental harm”, explains Pascal Brice, former director general of the French Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless Persons (Ofpra), in a video from the website Migrations en Questions, a project launched in 2018 by the associations Res Publica and European Migration Law.

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Often singled out, state medical aid (AME) perfectly illustrates the dichotomy between the ambient political discourse, now taken up by Emmanuel Macron, and the reality of the figures. Forced by LR, the government thus agreed to reform this system at the beginning of 2024, allowing foreigners in an irregular situation to benefit from access to care. However, in a survey conducted in 2019 by the Institute for Research and Documentation in Health Economics (IRDES) among a representative sample of foreigners in an irregular situation, only 9.5% of them mentioned health as reason for coming to France, and only 51% of eligible foreigners requested to benefit from the AME.

The real factors in choosing the host country are more to be found in the economic attractiveness of the country in question and the presence or absence of a diaspora, according to Hélène Thiollet, researcher at the CNRS and coordinator of the book “Migrants, migrations. 50 inquiries to type your opinion” (Armand Colin, 2016).

“For migrants, the first criterion is professional: they seek access either to a job or to a university course,” she explains in an article published by Le Monde. The second criterion is existence, in the host country, of a community from their country of origin. The activation of these social networks, whether family, village or national, makes it possible to reduce the risks and the cost of migration, but also to facilitate integration.”