Recently, French President Emmanuel Macron called for a “ruthless” deportation of immigrants residing in France who have ties to radical Islamic extremism. Macron’s comments follow a deadly Islam-inspired killing of a middle school teacher last week.
According to reports from Le Figaro, the French president tasked Minister of the Interior Gérald Darmanin to conduct a “ruthless” investigation of those who “carry hatred and ideologies terrorists” and have foreign-born Islamists removed from the country. The request follows a fatal stabbing in the French city of Arras that claimed the life of middle school teacher Dominique Bernard. The attack was allegedly committed by the Russian-born suspect Mohamed Mogouchkov, who had been on France’s extremist watch list.
Reportedly, Mogouchkov had been classified as an “S file” on the extremist watch list, indicating he was a serious threat to public safety and had previously faced a deportation order. However, appeals from pro-migrant groups struck down the attempted expulsion from France.
According to Darmanin, there are approximately 20,000 “S files” the country maintains where nearly 500 extremist foreigners on the list are considered a threat to national security. Moreover, roughly 300 radical foreigners are imprisoned in France or under house arrest. The minister claims the government will work to “systematically deport” these dangerous individuals.
Darmanin was poised to meet with French officials this week “to re-examine the administrative situation of all foreign nationals followed by the intelligence services under radical Islamism, by systematically initiating procedures of removal and expulsion.”
A Parisien Imam expressed support for such initiatives, calling upon the French government to take action and expel any migrants who are known by authorities to have ties to Islamic extremism. Hassen Chalghoumi, the Imam of the Parisien suburb of Drancy, has called President Emmanuel Macron to “go further” and expand government action on the issue.
“I support President Emmanuel Macron and his government in the fight against terrorism. But we must go further,” Imam Chalghoumi said. “I solemnly call on [Minister of the Interior] Gérald Darmanin to expel all S files who are not French. All, without pity. They don’t have any for us, let’s not have any for them. Are we going to wait until they kill half our teachers? Our future is unclear. We must show that the Republic is firm.”
President Macron has also stated France “must significantly reduce immigration,” starting with illegal immigration into the country. Macron indicated that the government would work toward a bill on halting immigration once parliament returns from its summer recess.
“Have we been submerged by immigration? No. It’s false to say that. That said, the situation that we know is not tenable and we must significantly reduce immigration, starting with illegal immigration. We have an obligation to (obtain) a result,” said Macron.
The French government has previously introduced an immigration bill, which has been delayed several times for being “too divisive.” Macron also floated the idea of utilizing referendums in order to pass the legislation. “The referendum is always one option among those which can be used, and I fully intend to have recourse to it,” he said.
Featured image credit: Jacques Paquier, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons
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