The frustrating experience of trying to legally immigrate reveals France’s true attitude toward immigrants. Source: An Immigrant in France – Editorial – The New York Times

This is an excellent editorial article from the NYT, highlighting the frustrating experience of trying to legally immigrate – it reveals France’s true attitude toward immigrants.

Source: An Immigrant in France – The New York Times

What I liked about this article was that it was subjective, evidence-based, described the context, empathized with the immigrants but failed to make sweeping generalizations about policy. It gave insights into the bureaucracy. Surely, this is no different to bureaucrats in the US, UK, Germany or Italy?

After all, bureaucrats just discharge the policies set by the politicians? Can bureaucrats really be more customer-focused, especially if the customer is an imigrant? Perhaps, the last question highlights the inherent prejudice?

Is there in reality a more humane way to deal with immigration?

One response

  1. This article from the New York Times from Dr Alf about the attitude of the French about immigrants reminded me of my experiences of emigrating to America to get married.

    I had to produce reams of paper about my previous jobs and financial status, I had to sign a piece of paper saying that I would not be a public charge for 5 years, my father-in-law had to accompany me to the then Department of Immigration and Naturalisation in Tampa, Florida, a drive of more than 220 miles (round trip) and produce an affadavit saying that he would support me should I become unemployed, my then now estranged wife had to undergo a very intrusive interview, dealing with her reasons for marrying me, my-father-in-law was interviewed separately to cross-check the facts.
    I had to produce my medical records and I was medically examined twice, to ensure that I was not the bearer of a dangerous or contageous disease.

    My fingerprints and a form had to be completed by the police in Tampa, along with a series of photographs to satisfy the immigration authorities, and the immigration authorities wrote to the UK Home Office to establish that I was not a criminal.

    Whilst undergoing this process, I was often in rooms with a veritable United Nations of divergent people and the tone of one’s interviewers was one of skepticism, pressure and hectoring.

    The French may have attitudes to immigrants that this intrepid reporter for the New York Times didn’t like but she ought to try going through the process of immigration and citizenship into her own country, as I did and then compare the two experiences.

    The US media is quick to point to finger at other countries but does not necessarily give to same publicity to weaknesses in the US public sector bureaucracies. For most people, this is evidenced by foreigners arriving at a a US airport.

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