It is not the first time former DGSE director and former ambassador Pierre Brochand has made public calls for a complete change to immigration policies while warning against France becoming poorer and possibly descending into civil war. However, hearing him doing so during a discussion with a top civil servant in the person of the director of the French Office for Immigration and Integration (OFII) on France Culture, a state-owned radio station that is part of the very left-wing and pro-immigration Radio France network, is something unusual in Emmanuel Macron’s France.
True, the presenter of the April 1 radio show titled “Face à l’immigration” (“Facing immigration”) was Alain Finkielkraut, a philosopher, writer, and radio presenter who is not particularly known for his political correctness, in particular on the subject of immigration.
Didier Leschi, OFII’s director, did not try to hide the true numbers about immigration like Interior Minister Générald Darmanin usually does. So, both men, Didier Leschi and former intelligence chief Pierre Brochand, were able to talk about an agreed-upon set of data regarding immigration levels: 320,000 new residence permits delivered in 2022 plus 156,000 asylum seekers and an additional number of 400,000 illegal immigrants benefiting from free medical care, plus a few hundred thousand who have not yet asked for the free migrants’ medical care scheme, which means their number is unknown. As Leschi commented during the radio show, such illegal immigrants are usually granted a residence permit after five years of illegal residence in France. This, of course, acts as a pull factor contributing to the rising wave of illegal immigrants that are now flooding Italy.
Reacting to those numbers, Brochand characterized the kind of immigration France has been experiencing for the last 50 years as “endured” and not chosen, “massive,” “on the rise,” “concentrated in isolated clusters,” “creating a snowball effect,” “with no historical precedence,” and “driven not by political decision-makers nor by economic players but by judges.” In addition, it is “culturally remote as it comes almost exclusively from what we used to call the Third World,” “conflictual,” “economically dysfunctional,” “costly for public finances,” “unpopular according to polls,” and “mostly irreversible.”
As a matter of fact, Brochand insisted, such massive immigration of low-qualified people from failed states has been pulling France down, making it poorer and causing a sharp degradation in the quality of its public services.
“Fifty years ago, we had the best public services in the world. We were proud and the whole world envied them. Today, they are vilified by everyone, and we complain about them. So what happened in between?
The 35-hour workweek cannot be ignored, it indeed played a role. But every year we accept 450,000 people who have not contributed a cent to the infrastructure they will use from day one. We’ve taken on board 2.6 million people in the last five years. How do you expect those people, who then become over-consumers and under-contributors, not to put unbearable pressure on public services?”
Immigration undoubtedly leads to lower salaries for the less qualified workers, and the only beneficiaries among workers are the immigrants themselves, as they see their income increase manyfold compared with what they could earn in their home countries. At the same time, the employers benefit by paying less for the work done, and the countries of origin are happy with the money transferred home by immigrant workers, which also means money is flowing out of their host country. Brochard estimates that this flow of money out of France amounts to an astounding $1 trillion since the 1970s.
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Leschi himself had to acknowledge during that discussion on France Culture that there have never been so many immigrants in France, with 7 million people (out of 68 million inhabitants) who were born abroad, including 2.5 million who have since acquired citizenship.
In that respect, a recent article in Le Figaro gave more numbers based on the latest data published by the French National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE): Those 7 million first-generation immigrants now account for 10.3 percent of France’s population, up from 7.4 percent at the end of the 1980s and 6.5 percent in 1968. Second-generation immigrants account for another 10.9 percent of France’s population, and third-generation immigrants account for 10.2 percent. Together, immigrants thus make up about a third of the population of France, and about half of first-generation immigrants are of African origin.
The OFII director explained on April 1 that “a changeover took place in the 1980s with immigration that became more and more a migration from the south of the world, with an increasingly important proportion of North Africans and, especially in recent years, of Sub-Saharans. (…) In 1964, two-thirds of the immigrants were Europeans, today it is only one-third.”
Curiously, on April 9, the head of the French Catholic episcopate, archbishop Éric de Moulins-Beaufort, said about immigration on the KTO TV channel that “those who are delusional are the ones who try to make us believe that it can be stopped.”
His remark would appear to apply to former DGSE director Pierre Brochand, with the Catholic archbishop insisting that we must prepare to better welcome arrivals and be ready to live in a different society.
Brochand considers for his part that “If we do nothing or if we do little, we are going to head either towards a progressive implosion of social trust in France, that is to say towards a society where the quality of life will collapse and where it will be less and less pleasant to live, or, by successive explosions, towards confrontations that will make France a country where one will not be able to live at all.”
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“And when I say all this,” Brochand added on April 1, “I think of my children, my future grandchildren, and the future that is reserved for them, especially when the tipping point will have been crossed when the population of immigrant origin and Muslim religion passes the 50 percent mark.”
In the same conversation with Leschi and Finkielkraut, the former intelligence agency head said that in France already 40 percent of children aged between 0 and 4 are of immigrant origin.
“We have reached such a point,” Brochand said, “that the reaction can only be extreme.”
The reaction, in Brochand’s eyes, can only be to divide legal immigration by 10, divide the access to nationality by 10, divide by a multiple of 10 the visas for nationals of high-risk countries, cancel everything that makes France socially attractive, and abolish all the rewards granted to cheating — like regularizing the stay of illegal immigrants or giving them access to free medical care. In addition, France must reduce the size of the diasporas by not renewing residence permits and have a very targeted natalist policy to boost the ethnic French population.
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To that purpose, the most important thing to do, according to Brochand, is “to take back control of the legal instruments that are indispensable for action, that have passed into the hands of the judges, and that must be given back to the legislators by various means.”
Brochand also advocates just ignoring “the intimidating discourse that is imposed on us and in particular the accusations of racism and fascism,” which he considers to be pure moral blackmail reflecting a specific ideology.
In what may be troubling news for the French population, the former diplomat and former intelligence director does not think there is currently enough courage among the French political class to do all this, so for the time being, France seems set to continue on its very dangerous course, increasingly becoming the immigration-sick man of Europe.