Nearly half of French food aid recipients are migrants, 90% of these come from Africa

Asylum seekers wait to leave the "Jungle" migrant camp in Calais, France, in October 2016. (Source: Shutterstock)
By John Cody
3 Min Read

New data shows that migrants account for nearly half of French food aid recipients, bolstering critics that assert that migrants, on the whole, are not actually a net benefit to Western economies but end up being an enormous financial burden.

Data from France’s National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE) shows that migrants are vastly overrepresented among applicants for food benefits, with 44 percent being immigrants, compared to 10 percent of any metropolitan population on average. However, this share may be actually higher than INSEE indicates, as the agency is basing this figure only on the number of people who filled out the Food Aid survey; it also only included those who could answer their surveys in French. A self-administered questionnaire in English was offered to non-French speakers, but too few people agreed to even fill it out, so INSEE decided not to use the data.

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However, these non-French speaking applicants are estimated to be some 420,000, which means this group of immigrants constitutes some 14% of immigrant applicants. The INSEE reports that there are between 3.2 and 3.5 million French people who have utilized food benefits in the last year, which means approximately 1.5 million of them have been migrants.

In recent years, neoliberal economists and open border advocates have attempted to argue that the West needs migrants to help ensure it can meet future pension obligations and shore up the workforce. In France, however, research from acclaimed academic Jean-Paul Gourévitch has shown that migrants are costing the French state €25 billion every year, and that approximately only a quarter of migrants have jobs while another quarter work in the informal economy. Another half have no job at all.

As Remix News has reported, other European countries face similar circumstances. For instance, Germany has indicated that it plans to spend €36 billion on migrants alone this year, and an extraordinary amount of these migrants remain unemployed for years.

However, mass immigration continues to be a big business, keeping select business owners well funded with state contracts — or in the case of activist organizations and NGOs — simply employed and sometimes very well paid. Data shows, for example, that French associations took in €750 million in grant money just in 2021 to help clothe, feed, and shelter new migrants.

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