Regularization: a fair and decent measure.

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Lundi, 16 Avril, 2012

Monday, April 16, 2012



Why forcing migrants without papers to undertake tougher and tougher power relationships as the regularization process has been constant in the 5th Republic? Post regularization of 1.4 million of foreign workers with de Gaulle, more than tens of thousands with Pompidou and Giscard despite a difficult crisis context. Everyone will also remember the beginning of Mitterrand and the hope of more than 130,000 people regularized. A stability, regularity inside regularizations.

If the 1981’s regularization mainly concerns working immigration, 1991’s was named as « exceptional » and aimed at “relief”, in relation to the increase of asylum seekers within the context of the fall of Berlin wall. Some years later, when Jospin’s government launches new rounds of regularizations in 1997 and 1998, not only work is put forward but also the existence of a family link. Over 150,000 requests, 90,000 people will be regularized. Once Nicolas Sarkozy is Home Secretary he is then interested in the subject. In 2006, after two years of mobilization of « Réseau éducation sans frontières » and to satisfy a public opinion shocked by the deportation of families including children enrolled in school, he suggests to regularize according to criteria: however from 30,000 files, only about 7,000 will reach a positive outcome. In this case, quotas and the arbitrary will rule as much as for the new labour regularization case obtained under the pressure of the CGT (trade unions) in 2010. Among the 4,000 dossiers filed, only a few hundred will be withheld. That is  regression.


Generous or not, regularization falls within our republican history as in a European perspective because, of course, we are not the only country of the Union to regularize.

This is why we need to keep our heads when discussing this matter and avoid any ideological confinement and any misleading argument. For instance, the argument of a “global” regularization that is improperly opposed to a « case-by-case » regularization as if the supporters of one of both methods ignored each open dossier is given a name and the regularizations are made according to criteria. It is an essential aspect to be taken into account that those criteria aim at a better objectivity and are clearly stated so as to end the arbitrary. However, if one wishes to move further on that subject, it is necessary to first put an end to the “global” regularization’s false debate.

Those who resist all regularization argue there is a high percentage of unemployed foreigners. It is true the unemployment rate is much higher for foreigners (17.9 %) than for the French (8.3 %), but it is also true that for non-European foreigners the unemployment rate increases with the skill level. Ce qui tenterait à prouver que la question se pose d’abord en matière de d’air, Let us simply be reminded that  97% of the world population is settled. A ministerial circular of a given country will not implement statistics. No upheaval to be expected then on the employment market, all the more that today as yesterday, migrant workers hold positions in under pressure sectors: construction, catering, services, security, cleaning…


In a world where demographic and economic imbalances keep on growing, the ideological and restrictive approach of the regularization promoted by the government since 2007 appears to be unbearable and very little wise. Regularization shall be a tool aiming at counterbalancing the bad effects of a too strict immigration policy. This is why we hope this dossier will be one of the first to be open next time the government changes. A left wing government is expected to regularize on the basis of clear criteria allowing putting an end to the decision-making power of the prefectures. Those criteria could be in relation to the duration of stay in France and the ability to produce a promise of future employment. A left wing government would bring credit on itself to undertake such a process giving back human dignity and restore it to all those who get up early every morning to move France forward.

This would be a nice way to turn the page of a cautious country, turned in on a self-generated fear of others. Regularization is a mean that involves justice and courage, two strong points of which the left wing has given proof. Hopefully.

Pierre Henry - France Terre d'Asile

Translated by Sylvie Ségui

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