Two-thirds of French want stricter immigration policy, new poll shows

French police detain a woman without papers on a train crossing into France from Italy at the Menton Garavan train station in Menton, southern France, Sunday, Nov. 13, 2022. Lines formed Sunday at one of Italy’s northern border crossings with France following Paris’ decision to reinforce border controls over a diplomatic row with Italy about migration policy and humanitarian rescue ships that shows no end in sight. (AP Photo/Daniel Cole)
By Dénes Albert
3 Min Read

Nearly seven out of ten French people believe that the state should adopt a stricter policy regarding the reception of migrants, according to a poll by the CSA institute for CNEWS published on Tuesday.

A total of 67 percent of French people want a tougher immigration policy, a topic that remains at the heart of the current national debate after the country received boat migrants for the first time in its history and following the murder of 12-year-old Paris girl Lola, has was raped, had her throat slashed, and was stuffed in a suitcase by an Algerian illegal migrant.

Respondents to the survey were asked: “Would you like France to have a much stricter policy regarding the reception of migrants (i.e. to welcome fewer of them on our territory)?”

To this question, 67 percent said “Yes” while 33 percent of respondents said “No.”

The poll shows that men are more in favor of a firmer policy in terms of welcoming migrants on French territory than women — 69 percent of men surveyed answered favorably compared with 65 percent of women.

Opinions differed greatly by age with the 18-24 age bracket in favor of a more lenient approach (52 percent said “No”), while 73 percent of those aged 65 and older backed stronger border control. Overall, 72 percent of the over-50s are in favor.

When taking into account the political leanings of those surveyed, there is a striking divide between the left and the right — nearly two-thirds of those polled who feel aligned to the left (60 percent) are opposed to a tougher migration policy.

The figure rises to 64 percent among supporters of La France insoumise and 62 percent among those close to the Europe Ecologie Les Verts (EELV) party.

On the right, the situation is quite different — 94 percent of French people close to the right want to be stricter about the reception of migrants. A total of 97 percent of National Rally supporters want stricter immigration controls, as do 91 percent among Les Républicains voters.

It is not the only poll showing the French opposed to mass immigration, with past polls consistently showing the vast majority of French want a halt to immigration.

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