French President Emmanuel Macron told this Moroccan Asylum Seeker to "go back to Morocco" pic.twitter.com/uVwT3Nng0V— Middle East Eye (@MiddleEastEye) November 27, 2017
A Moroccan asylum seeker asked French President Emmanuel Macron for a French citizenship while he was attending a charity event in Paris.
The French leader not only refused to give her citizenship, but also took it a step further.
“If you are not in danger, you should go back to your country,” he said.
“I cannot give French papers to everyone,” he continued. “Otherwise how do I deal with all the people who are already here and who cannot find work? You see, so we have to protect the vulnerable people who are unsafe in their home country.”
The young woman then informed Macron her parents, who were unwell, currently live in France.
“But you can come visit them regularly, if you want,” was his response.
“If they (the parents) are here, we will treat them. This is how justice works in France, and it is already very generous as you can imagine,” he continued.
According to Morocco World News, Macron earlier advised the young woman to go back to Morocco because France “cannot accommodate everyone who comes with working or student visas and who stay after.”
He then went on and quoted the famous words of former French Prime Minister Michel Rocard in 1989 to justify his stringent immigration policy. “We take our share, but we cannot welcome all the misery of the world,” he said.
Macron's remarks are being denounced as insensitive and hypocritical by many internet users especially because they go against his campaign pledge to serve with “humility, with devotion, with determination."
It should not come as a surprise, though, because Macron isn't really as liberal on immigration as he has been portrayed in the media.
Macron has divided migrants in two categories: the asylum seekers and the “economic migrants” who, according to the French president, “come from safe countries and follow economic migration routes, feeding ferrymen, organized crime and sometimes terrorism.” France must be “rigorous” and “inflexible” with this class of migrant because “we cannot welcome them all.”
The French president pledged to reduce the asylum application process to six months (the current waiting time is 14-18 months) and to provide emergency housing to remove all migrants from the streets.
However, Macron’s classification is not practical. “Sorting people who are eligible for asylum from economic migrants is extremely complex and very difficult to do,” says Maryse Tripier, professor in sociology of immigration at Université Paris Diderot.
“Factors for migration are multidimensional; we can’t put them easily in the box ‘economic’ or the box ‘asylum.’ It’s too simplistic, it cannot really work.”
People had a lot to say about Macron’s response to the Moroccan asylum seeker.
instead of giving her a chance to proove herself in her studies, abilities, character, he just cuts her off and shuts her up. WTH— Seda ?? (@wifidimples) November 27, 2017
Asylum seekers are not always brought about because of war.— Bosaya?? (@Bosaya4) November 27, 2017
If your life is in danger in your home country, you can seek asylum in another country. Not necessarily war
What are the odds this was staged? Macron is plummeting in the polls. He is pushing farther and farther right. This shows the true unapologetic face of neoliberalism. It has no borders.— Aidan Mhaoldomhnaigh (@aidan_moloney) November 27, 2017
Well, finally Macron is seeing the light? This is exactly what Trump saying in America. France wake up.— Matt_Frisco (@Matt_frisco) November 28, 2017
Now if only la pays d’égalité, fraternity et liberté could be as forward looking with its asylum policy. Shame on Macron for his latest comment to a Moroccan asylum seeker!— Hisham Elkoustaf (@Hisham973) November 27, 2017
Thumbnail Credits: Reuters