Skip to navigation

Skip to main content


Lyon, France May 6-8, 1999

Report of the seminar on
Immigration and Integration: Focus on Lyon, France
May 6-8, 1999

This is the report of the seventh Migration Dialogue seminar, held May 6-8, 1999 in Lyon, France. Migration Dialogue seminars provide an opportunity for 40 to 45 opinion leaders to discuss in an intensive and off-the-record setting the major immigration and integration issues facing the industrial democracies.

This report was prepared after the seminar for participants and others interested in migration issues. It has not been read or approved by participants, and should not be read as a consensus document discussed and debated by participants. An agenda and list of participants are attached.
France is the only European country that could be considered a country of immigration before World War II. France was almost alone in having a fertility decline beginning in the late 18th century, and fear of population decline that would make the country more vulnerable to Germany prompted pro-natalist fertility and expansionary immigration policies. France was among the world's first countries to develop an immigration system, and has a relatively easy path to naturalization. In 1990, it was estimated that 20 percent of persons born in France had immigrant parents or grandparents.

The 1990 Census counted 4.2 million foreign-born residents, including 1.3 million who had become naturalized French citizens. There were about 3.6 million foreigners in France; 2.9 million were born outside of France, and 700,000 were born as foreigners in France; foreigners were six percent of the population. About 1.6 million of the foreigners in France are non-Europeans. The leading countries of origin of foreigners in 1990 were Portugal, 18 percent; Algeria, 17 percent; and Morocco, 16 percent. Foreigners are concentrated: about 40 percent of foreigners (and 20 percent of French residents) live in the greater Paris area. French immigration policy rests on the law of November 2, 1945, which facilitated the immigration of needed workers and their families. However, a major source of newcomers after World War II was the movement of 180,000 Algerians with French citizenship to mainland France between 1949 and 1956. In 1956, French policy changed from favoring arrivals from former colonies to favor Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese workers: some 430,000 arrived between 1956 and 1962.

Most of the immigrants in France today arrived between 1962 and 1974, when assembly-line industries recruited millions of guest workers to work in factories and live in suburbs surrounding large French cities. These guest workers were probationary immigrants, and acquired more rights with each renewal of work and residence permits. In 1974, the recruitment of non-EU nationals was stopped, and many French leaders, including former President Valery Giscard d'Estaing, believed that non-European (North African) guest workers could be repatriated. This took concrete form in an early 1980s program that paid departure bonuses to induce thousands of settled migrants to leave. France in 1981-83 also legalized 132,000 foreigners, and made efforts to limit further illegal immigration.

The debate over whether to repatriate or integrate foreigners continued during the 1980s, and provided an opportunity for the National Front, which advocated repatriation of non-European foreigners, to field candidates in local elections in 1983. Jean-Marie Le Pen ran for mayor of Paris and, although he was overwhelmingly defeated, the National Front received 17 percent of the vote in Dreux, a Paris suburb. A permanent resident alien status was established in 1984, but it was not until the fall of 1993 that the National Assembly unanimously approved legislation that allowed all foreigners living in France legally to become permanent residents, regardless of their national origin.

Since 1984, mainstream political parties have been oriented to reducing the appeal of the National Front. In some cases, this means that other political parties endorsed National Front ideas, e.g., the Communist mayor in Vitry demolished the hostel housing of African migrants, and rightist parties called for tougher laws to restrict illegal immigration. In the May 1995 elections, Le Pen received 15 percent of the vote, and the National Front elected mayors in the cities of Orange, Marignane and Toulon. The Socialists, currently in power, advocated the right of immigrants to vote, and called for new laws to fight racism, thereby appealing to those sympathetic to immigrants.

Successive governments have declared that immigration had been stopped, meaning that no new unskilled guest workers were being admitted. Legal family unification and illegal immigration continued, however, and that, combined with the concentration of foreigners in the Paris area, allowed the National Front to argue that the government was not telling the truth about immigration. In 1993, Interior Minister Pasqua announced a zero immigration policy, to be achieved by limiting family unification as well as restricting the entry of nonimmigrants who could become illegal migrants. However, immigration fell only slightly--legal immigration was 83,000 in 1994, 68,000 in 1995, and 74,000 in 1996.

France in 1997 had an estimated 300,000 to 500,000 unauthorized foreigners; about 150,000 applied for legalization in a six-month program that began in the summer of 1997. The government has found it difficult to return or deport foreigners. French law permits foreigners accused only of immigration violations to be held for a maximum of 12 days, so that, if a foreigner slated for deportation appeals the removal order, she must usually be released before a final decision on the case is made. Occupying churches has proved to be an effective method of avoiding removal. In recent years, foreigners ordered out of France have occupied churches in Paris, attracted French supporters, and won re-assessments of their removal orders and often the right to stay in France. For example, immigrant advocates say that only 26 of the 314 people who occupied the Church of St. Bernard in Paris in 1996 were removed from France.
France early in the 20th century developed the so-called "Republican model" to integrate both rural-urban migrants, migrants from French colonies, and Italian and other Catholic immigrants. The Republican assimilation model seeks to erase ethnic and national origins in the second generation, so that the child of an immigrant could scarcely be distinguished from the child of French-born parents. The Republican model was considered successful if the children of peasants, migrants from colonies, and guest workers all learned French and considered themselves to be French.

The Republican model was reinforced by the relatively easy path to citizenship and mixing or integrating institutions such as schools, the military, unions, the French communist party and the Catholic church. Virtually all children born in France could become French citizens at age 18; secular schools inculcated French values.

After most guest worker recruitment was halted in 1974, the Republican model of assimilation was replaced by what was termed "insertion," the idea that foreigners could live in France as non-French. Insertion appealed to many on the left, who thought that assimilation was a colonial idea, and to those on the right, who wanted to repatriate as many foreigners as possible. The governments of many sending countries which wanted their nationals to return also approved. Integration is the current term used to explain French policy toward resident foreigners, but its meaning varies from assimilation to multiculturalism.

France is today debating how best to integrate Muslim and Black African immigrants who may have less appreciation for French and French culture than immigrants of the past, and who face a very different economic environment--unemployment often exceeds 30 percent in immigrant suburbs, and many North African youth remain jobless for five or more years. Schools have lost their power to assimilate and to assure upward mobility, leading some immigrant youth to drop out of school and turn to crime, and others to assert their religious/cultural identity, as when Muslim girls attempt to wear head scarves to school. Some fear that this loss of identification as French, coupled with a change in French law that requires youth to choose to become French nationals between 16 and 21, could increase isolation.

The integration glass can be read as half full or half empty. The optimistic perspective notes that most immigrant families speak French at home, that 45 percent of young Algerian men marry French women, and that only about a third of North African immigrants are practicing Muslims. The French soccer team that won the World Cup in 1998 included many immigrants, prompting researcher Michele Tribalat to assert that "the French team has done more for integration than years of pro-active government policies."

France has relatively easy naturalization policies: about 110,000 foreigners were naturalized in 1996, including 30,000 youth born in France who requested French citizenship. About 25 percent of those who became French were Moroccans, followed by Algerians and Portuguese. France permits foreigners who marry French citizens to naturalize after one year, and promises to act on naturalization applications within 18 months.

The pessimistic perspective notes that 31 percent of non-European immigrants in March 1998 were jobless, compared to 11 percent of French nationals, and that the banlieue or suburbs of French cities are potential flash points for trouble. North African youth who live in high-rise apartment buildings in these suburbs are often unemployed, and may have parents who are jobless. Immigrant youth commit a disproportionate share of French crime. There were 15,800 incidents of urban violence in France in 1997, and violent demonstrations often break out after police interactions with North African youth.

It is easy to see why there might be conflicts when walking through high rises next to a school with the children of immigrants. The French residents tend to be older, often persons forced to return from Algeria after independence. The immigrants and their children often have large families. Many of the teachers at the school, which was designated "sensitive," entitling the school and teachers to extra money, did not live in the neighborhood.
Unemployment and Discrimination
France is a country of 58 million with an average per capita GDP of $24,000 in 1997; its $1.4 trillion GDP is fourth largest in the world, after the US, Japan, and Germany. The 1995 and 1997 national elections largely focused on how to deal with the country's persistent 11 to 12 percent unemployment rate, or how to avoid a two-tiered society with an underclass of French and foreign residents. The economy is improving: it is expected to grow by 2.6 percent in 1999, creating 300,000 additional jobs.

The major policy initiatives to deal with unemployment include:
orequiring most French employers to shift by January 1, 2000 (firms with more than 20 employees) or 2002 (other firms) from the current 39-hour week to a 35-hour week.
oraising the minimum wage in 1998 to FF6800 ($1133) a month or FF 39 ($6.60) an hour; about 2.2 million or 11 percent French workers earn the minimum wage.
ocreating subsidized employment programs, especially for youth 16 to 25 (about 4 percent of GDP is spent on employment programs and subsidies).

There are almost 3 million youth 18-25 in the French labor force. Of those with jobs, 44 percent have temporary or subsidized employment contracts. The government has a variety of schemes to create jobs for youth. For example, 350,000 youth 18 to 25 are expected to be enrolled in a programs by 2000 in which the youth, including foreign youth, receive the minimum wage, and 80 percent of the cost, plus the employer's payroll taxes, are paid by the government, at a cost of FF94,000 a year. Most of the first jobs created in this youth scheme have been for assistants in educational facilities and the police.

France has a low labor force participation rate: about 43 percent of the population, 25 million people, are employed or looking for work. Between 1973 and 1997, the labor force increased from 22 million to 26 million, but non-subsidized employment fell, from about 21.5 million to 20.5 million. Unemployment increased from about 600,000 to three million during these years--40 percent of the unemployed in 1998 were jobless for more than one year, and 20 percent were jobless more than two years. The OECD believes that unemployment rates are high in part because of generous unemployment insurance benefits--the minimum UI benefit is FF3100 a month ($510). UI benefits are almost 60 percent of the average wage, and can be received for two years. After UI benefits expire, jobless workers receive basic income support or RMI of at least FF2200 or $360 a month. Young people entering the labor market and seeking a job can receive first job-seeker allowances.

The OECD's 1997 and 1999 reviews of the French labor market emphasized that the cost of hiring unskilled workers in France is high: the minimum wage or SMIC is the equivalent of $6.60 an hour, compared to $5.15 in the US. Payroll taxes add 40 to 50 percent to wage costs, far more than the 20 to 30 percent common in the US. France has attempted to increase the employment of low-wage workers by selectively reducing employer-paid payroll taxes when employers hire disadvantaged workers to fill newly created jobs. Employers have responded by: (1) hiring more workers through temporary employment firms--about six percent of auto industry employees are provided by temp firms; and (2) creating more part time jobs--16 percent of men, and 33 percent of women, work part time, averaging 23 hours a week. Annual working hours in France are about 1,650, more than the 1,550 in Germany, but Germans work more hours per working life, 53,000 compared to 50,000, because of lower unemployment and fewer early retirements (US workers average 2,000 hours a year and 63,000 hours a working life).

There were 1.6 million foreigners among the 23 million employed workers in 1997 (including workers in subsidized jobs). Foreigners are six to seven percent of French workers, but over 15 percent of those employed in construction and gardening, and over 10 percent of those employed as maids and farm workers. The unemployment rate for French nationals in 1997 was 12 percent, compared to 31 percent unemployment for nationals of non-European Union countries, and 50 percent among North Africans who were not French citizens. These high unemployment rates discourage labor force participation--many among North Africans are not seeking work. For example, in places where immigrants are 40 percent of residents, they are 80 percent of unskilled workers and 70 percent of the unemployed. Even for well-educated North African youth, unemployment rates are 20 to 40 percent, suggesting a serious discrimination problem. A typical complaint from young North Africans is that, as soon as they learn their address, employers reject them.

It is hard to assess the youth unemployment problem. In addition to relatively high minimum wages, France has an extensive social welfare system, with numerous programs that hire youth in public sector jobs to minimize "exclusion." Youth who think that their "first job is a career" may enroll in one of many training and retraining programs, or find a temporary subsidized minimum wage job in government or the nonprofit sector, and wait a decade or more for a first "real" job. The raft of government jobs programs for young people create significant employment for trainers, counselors and other professionals in areas that house immigrants and their second- and third-generation children in high rise apartment buildings, but it is not clear that the programs ease the transition from school to work.

High unemployment rates, even for well-educated second-generation youth, as well as high rates of self employment suggest that discrimination against North African migrants may be widespread. In October 1998, the French government announced an affirmative action plan to combat discrimination against immigrants in the labor market. An Observatory of Discrimination is to be created to monitor discrimination, and the government promised to: (1) end the practice of permitting employers to specify that they want French nationals when they request workers from a government employment office; and (2) re-examine current requirements that persons employed by state-run companies must be French nationals--one estimate is that 25 to 35 percent of jobs in France require French citizenship.

Numerous studies agree that France's rigid labor market makes it especially difficult for unskilled immigrant workers to obtain regular jobs. France has an underground economy in which both French and foreign workers evade payroll taxes and some foreigners are employed without required permits. Less than five percent of the 10,000 cases of suspected illegal work referred by the Delegation interministerielle a la lutte contre le travail illegal (Interministry Delegation to Combat Illegal Work) to French courts in 1996 involved foreigners working without work permits, i.e., in most cases, illegal work involves French and foreign workers not paying social security and other payroll taxes, especially in construction (40 to 50 percent of the workers in the underground economy are legal foreigners). One reason the recorded number of seasonal foreign farm workers has declined sharply is because many French and legal foreign workers are employed "off the books" in French agriculture.

France developed an innovative system to help employers avoid hiring illegal alien workers in 1991: employers fax copies of residence and work permits to a central office before workers are hired and, if there is no response from the authorities, the worker is presumed to be legal. The percentage of newly-hired workers believed to be unauthorized in targeted industries such as garments has fallen from one-third to 10 percent.

French Interior Minister Jean-Pierre Chevenement in January 1999 called for more immigrants in the French police; in 1998, 8,250 youths were hired as security aides (adjoints de sécurite) in troubled neighborhoods. Chevenement said there were two million youths in France under the age of 20 born of immigrant parents, many of whom live in neighborhoods with insufficient police. At the same time, Chevenement has denounced juvenile offenders as "savages" and called for judges to impose financial penalties on parents who fail to control their children.

Germany. Germany has about the same percentage of foreigners in its labor force as France--the 2.1 million employed foreign workers are about 6 percent of German employees. Most of the foreigners in Germany have been there for a long time, and consequently 90 percent of the foreigners in Germany have the same labor market rights as Germans and EU nationals. However, Germany has a complex system for regulating the access of newcomers to the labor market, and some employers avoid hiring foreigners because of their exposure to potentially costly sanctions for hiring unauthorized workers.

Germany has several types of newcomers, and different labor market regulations for each type. Ethnic Germans are newcomers from the ex-USSR and Eastern Europe who are German citizens upon arrival. Many do not speak German, so they may be treated as "foreigners" by employers when they seek work. Newcomers arriving to join settled immigrants, as well as asylum seekers, are limited in their access to the labor market --asylum seekers have since May 1997 been unable to get work permits, and families of settled immigrants must wait four years after arrival for work permits.

Since the construction boom that began after German unification in 1989, a new form of intra-EU migration has developed: employers send workers from one EU country to another under the EU's freedom to provide services, one of the four core freedoms (the others are goods, capital, labor). This means that, for instance, a German construction firm can establish a subsidiary in the Netherlands that hires workers in Portugal and sends them to Berlin--the Portuguese workers might be willing to work for wages much lower than German workers. German unions believe that such intra-EU labor migration in the form of companies sending workers from one country to another must be regulated, for example, the EU must develop common labor standards throughout the EU to prevent social dumping.

Many first-generation guest workers who entered Germany as young adults are reaching retirement age-- a person who was 25 in 1965 will be 60 in 2000. If retired guest workers return to their countries of origin, they can receive pension benefits as if they were in Germany. First-generation foreigners were recruited to work in mainstream German industries and have fairly high wages--a Turk working at VW might earn DM4500 to DM5000 a month, while a German working as a sales clerk might earn DM2500. Foreigners are about eight percent of union members in Germany, and some 8,000 foreign workers are members of the factory-level works councils in German companies that negotiate work-related issues.

Many "guest worker problems" refer to the second and third generations, who often cannot follow their parents into well-paid industrial jobs because economic restructuring eliminated industrial jobs. The expectations of immigrant youth educated in Germany are similar to German youth, but a variety of factors, from parental pressures to discrimination, tend to draw many second- and third-generation youth away from the education needed to certify them for a career in service sectors such as banking, and draw them instead into jobs such as mechanic.

US. The US has developed a fairly elaborate set of anti-discrimination policies to deal with the legacy of slavery and segregation. The number of groups protected by federal, state, and local governments from discrimination has been extended to include minority immigrants who may never have suffered discrimination in the US.

The keystones of US civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination is the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, approved in 1868 after slavery was ended, and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 . Landmark court decisions based on the 14th amendment, such as the 1954 Brown vs. Board of Education, resulted from the activities of private organizations funded by donations and foundations to bring class action suits to remedy discrimination. This model of public interest law organizations filing class action suits has been extended to protect the rights of many other groups, from immigrants to the disabled. Some believe that the US decision to permit Latinos and Asians to seek remedies for discrimination on the same basis as Blacks has weakened the moral authority of anti-discrimination efforts, since 75 percent of US Hispanics and 85 percent of US Asians are post-1965 immigrants or their descendants.

The US has a number of federal, state, and local agencies to enforce civil rights laws, including the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. One unusual feature of US civil rights laws is the availability of high damage awards: protected persons who prove that they suffered discrimination can win litigation costs as well as compensatory and punitive damages, making the costs of discrimination potentially very costly for violators. For example, oil firm Texaco paid $200 million to settle charges that it discriminated against Black employees, and restaurant chain Denny's paid $54 million to settle charges that it discriminated against Black customers by, for instance, requiring some to pay in advance for their food.

Governments expend significant resources to detect and measure discrimination, some $600 million a year. Some question the efficacy of the entire anti-discrimination effort in the US, noting that, for example, there are more suits by middle-aged and middle-class workers who are contesting terminations than by protected job applicants who were not hired. Affirmative action programs have been especially controversial, although it should be emphasized that affirmative action policies mean many different things, from establishing non-binding targets for hiring women and minority workers to laying out quotas for women, Afro-Americans, Latinos etc.

Only one federal agency, the Office of the Special Counsel for Immigration Related Employment Practices in the Department of Justice, is dedicated to enforcement of laws that prohibit discrimination at the point when employers hire workers Since 1987, OSC has received more than 6,000 complaints of immigration-related discrimination and recovered nearly $2 million in back pay and more than $1.2 million in civil penalties from employers. In 1996, the anti-discrimination law was changed to require DOJ to prove that an employer intended to discriminate before the employer could be fined.
Education and Islam
Schools are major integrating institutions for both immigrant and native children. Schools teach language, culture, as well as needed skills. However, schooling systems in France, Germany, and the US differ significantly in their organization and methods. France has national education system, with teachers who are federal employees of the Ministry of Education, Germany has 16 Land-or state-run schooling systems, with teachers employees of the Land or state, and the US has 50 state schooling systems, with teachers employed by 16,000 local school districts throughout the US.

France. The French educational system is described on the government web site as follows: "Schools have always had very great symbolic importance in France. Their primary mission is to develop and maintain national unity, in particular by integrating children of foreign parents into French society. Four basic principles define the public service mission of the schools: equal access, non-discrimination, neutrality and secularity."

Major issues in the French educational system include:
owhether to continue the French immersion assmilationist model of integrating the children of foreigners
ohow to improve the performance of the children of foreigners
ohow to deal with religious symbols in schools.

The French educational system faces a number of challenges unrelated to migrants, but the schools have become a testing ground for dealing with Islam. Most foreigners from Islamic countries in France are not practicing Muslims, most speak French, and many date and marry French nationals. However, there are fundamentalist Muslims, and there are widespread fears that general dissatisfaction with economic prospects may encourage an upsurge in fundamentalism among youth of North African origin. This usually takes concrete form when girls wear head scarves to school. A 1994 government decree banned "ostentatious religious symbols" on students, including head scarves. However, in some cases, girls are allowed to wear head scarves--an estimated 400 girls wore head scarves in January 1999--while in other cases, they are prohibited from going to school unless they remove the scarves. Parents and others then protest the ban on scarves, leading to a sense that there is a clash between secular schools and Islamic fundamentalism.

Germany. Germany has 16 distinct educational systems, which means that the 1.2 million foreign children in German schools could be enrolled in bilingual education classes in Bavaria but not in Berlin. After six years in elementary school, children attend either a vocational training school, general secondary school (Hauptschule), or a college preparatory school (Gymnasium). Most foreign children (80 percent in 1994) went to the general secondary school.
Some analyses see the school integration glass as half full, noting that the percentage of foreign children leaving German schools with an Abitur (preparation for university) doubled between 1988 and 1995. Others say that the glass is half empty, noting that one fourth of the Germans leave school with an Abitur, compared to less than 10 percent of foreign youth. In 1995, one fourth of the working-age foreigners had no school-leaving certificate, and over 40 percent completed only the minimum amount of schooling required. Pessimists also note that foreign youth who entered Germany after age 14, ethnic Germans who arrived in Germany, and were found not to be ethnic Germans, and were subsequently granted a TPS-status rather than German citizenship; rejected asylum seekers who could not be returned, and Bosnian youth in Germany are problem youth.
US. The US had 52 million K-12 pupils in 1996, and is expected to have 55 million in 2002. About six million pupils are in private schools, and 46 million are in K-12 public school students. Of those in public schools, 3.2 million or seven percent were classified as Limited English Proficient in 1995-96, meaning that they would have difficulty understanding an all-English curriculum without additional assistance. Federal and state bilingual programs were begun after the 1974 US Supreme Court Lau v. Nichols decision, which required schools to make special provision for children with a language other than English. However, special provision varies from state to state and within districts. For example, a lack of bilingual teachers meant that only 410,000 of the 1.4 million LEP children in California received bilingual education in 1996-97.
Immigrants and their foreign-born and US-born children are concentrated in the largest US cities-- in 1996, about 60 percent of the 26 million foreign-born US residents lived in seven metropolitan areas: New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston, Chicago, Miami and Washington. New York City has the largest US school district, with 1.1 million students and 65,000 teachers, followed by Los Angeles.
Immigration and Politics
The major change between the September 1995 and May 1999 Migration Dialogue seminars in France has been in government policies. In 1995, with a conservative government in power, the deputy mayor of Paris argued forcefully that the first step to promote the integration of foreigners and their children was to stop immigration to the extent possible. Only then, he argued, could the government tackle the problems associated with lagging integration.

In 1997, a socialist government was elected in France, with Lionel Jospin as Prime Minister. Jospin said "Immigration is an economic, social and human reality which must be organized, controlled. France must define a firm, dignified immigration policy without renouncing its values or compromising its social balance....[Immigration must be] removed from the realm of French passions." Under previous governments, the 1993 Pasqua and the 1997 Debre laws were enacted, leading to the result that 20,000 to 40,000 foreigners became quasi-unauthorized; they could be neither legally expelled nor given residence papers.

Patrick Weil was asked by the Jospin government to prepare a report outlining options to deal with migration. In July 1997, Weil presented a four-part report that included 130 recommendations. The theme of the Weil report was a grand bargain, an amnesty for some of those who had developed an equity stake in French society as well as simplified entry procedures for businessmen and students. On the other hand, Weil argued that France had to signal that it was serious about deterring illegal entry by, for example, raising from 10 to 15 days the time that an immigration violator could be detained (the compromise was to increase detention times from 10 to 12 days). Weil took a bottom-up approach, examining the administration of the immigration system in a manner that, for example, recommended eliminating a French office to deal with EU nationals, who have freedom of movement rights, and thereby freeing 400 government employees to deal with other immigration issues.

Many of the Weil recommendations were enacted into law, including a provision that permits those born in France to become French citizens between the ages of 11 and 18 if they lived at least five years in France. Such children can request French nationality themselves after turning 16 or can give their consent to a request made by their parents after they turn 13. Before turning 13, children born in France of foreign-born parents can obtain residence papers known as Republican Identity Titles (TIR), which expedites exits and entries.

The new government aimed to wipe the slate clean with an amnesty--foreigners with an equity stake such as family members established in France were permitted to apply for legalization, and 140,000 did. The amnesty applicants included 20,500 Moroccans; 19,000 Algerians; 10,000 Malians; and 9,000 Congolese from the former Zaire as well as 9,000 Chinese. In January 1998, it was announced that 77,000 applications for immigrant status had been approved, which means that 63,000 of the foreigners who applied would not be given immigrant status. The government offered a free air ticket home and FF4500 ($750) to each adult who left voluntarily.

Immigration remains a political issue, with immigrant youth (children born in France to migrants from North Africa are not French citizens until at least age 13--they have the right to French citizenship between 13 and 21) increasingly seen as the cause of crime (insecurity), threatening to make law and order an immigration/political issue. Former prime minister Raymond Barre argued that both the left and the right had used immigration as a short-term issue to win votes in a strategy that is dangerous in the long-run. For example, rightist Giscard d'Estaing in the late 1970s promised to stop immigration, encourage repatriation, and encourage French workers to accept low-level jobs, thus reinforcing the view that France could rid itself of some foreigners. In the early 1980s, Mitterand appealed to the left by calling for voting rights for foreigners, thus encouraging some voters to support the National Front and limiting votes for mainstream rightist parties.

The National Front, with 42,000 members, was the choice of three million voters, 15 percent of all voters, in recent elections --according to some polls, 35 percent of the French approve of National Front positions on immigration. The National Front opposes further immigration on economic, crime, and cultural grounds--the National Front says that immigrants are not needed when unemployment is over 10 percent, that 25 percent of the four million crimes committed in France annually are committed by immigrants or their children (some of whom are French nationals), and that France risks losing its identity to immigrants.

The National Front wants "national preference," giving French citizens priority over immigrants in access to public housing, jobs and benefits--it is not clear if the National Front wants to make immigrants ineligible for benefits, or to have them remain eligible, but require them to go to the back of the queue. Without national preference, the National Front argues, benefit programs favor foreigners because they have larger families and are poorer. The National Front opposes new guest worker programs, arguing that French residents should fill all jobs but, like US farmers, the National Front would embrace a strictly regulated seasonal worker program to provide labor for a protected agriculture, since farmers are "essential" to a country.

The National Front in December 1998 splintered into competing factions, leaving the future of Western Europe's largest anti-immigrant party in doubt. National Front chief Jean-Marie Le Pen dismissed the deputy leader, Bruno Megret, who had forged alliances with conservative politicians from mainstream parties in five of the 22 regional assemblies after the Socialists gained in March 1998 elections. Six other party leaders, including Le Pen's eldest daughter, were also expelled, and they threatened to run a separate slate of National Front candidates in European Parliament elections in June 1999.

There is a debate within right-wing political parties over how to reduce support for the National Front, which receives 12 to 15 percent of the vote. In the Rhone-Alps region around Lyon, rightist party leaders made agreements with the National Front to retain power in 1997-98, and were expelled from their parties. Barre predicted that the National Front would splinter and disappear if mainstream political parties refuse to cooperate with it.

Germany. Right-wing parties are represented in two state parliaments, Sachsen-Anhalt and Baden-Wuerttenburg, but not in the Bundestag. Few Germans believe that a significant national anti-immigrant party will emerge. However, some Germans believe that mainstream parties that send mixed messages about immigration and immigrants can be more dangerous then a right-wing party that can be labeled racist. For example, having SPD interior minister Schily advocate dual citizenship while saying that the boat is full sent a mixed message that enabled many Germans to believe that Schily opposed all new entries. Similarly, former chancellor Kohl condemned the arson attack in Sollingen that left several Turks dead, but also condemned the Turkish youths who vandalized property while protesting.

To avoid politicizing immigration, some urge an "equal treatment for all," noting that phrases such as double passports can easily be construed as double benefits and thus make dual national foreigners seemingly in a better position then natives.

US. The United States celebrates its immigrant heritage, telling and retelling the story of renewal and rebirth brought about by the newcomers. On the other hand, Americans have worried since the days of the founding fathers about the economic, political, and cultural effects of newcomers--polls find that more Americans consistently want immigration reduced than want immigration increased. The percentage of Americans who want immigration reduced rises in recession.

Immigration policy in the 1990s has been driven by often short-lived coalitions of interests that disagree on other issues. For example, church, ethnic and business advocates may join to keep immigration levels high, but then be on opposite sides of arguments over whether immigrants should have full rights to welfare benefits. Immigration policy making is changing, as state and local governments that assume responsibility for integration take more interest in who arrives, and as immigration becomes a foreign policy issue that commands presidential attention, as in Central America. It was noted that initiatives can in some states substitute for anti-immigrant political parties--Prop 187, approved by California voters in 1994, led to restrictive 1996 legislation.
Faced with common challenges and opportunities, industrial democracies often learn from each other, for example, the industrial democracies have similar economic policies to maximize growth, and they seek to have other countries adopt the same economic policies using the instruments of bilateral, regional, and multilateral aid. In many cases, the industrial democracies have ceded some power to enforce trade and finance rules to supranational organizations, raising the question of whether migration should be added to economic and security items that have been moved "beyond the nation state."

Most European countries want to restrict immigration. It is generally accepted that immigration and trade patterns evolve differently--immigration often increases in snowball fashion over time, as families unify and migrant networks are forged. Trade, on the other hand, often becomes less free over time unless conscious efforts are made to keep trade channels open--the so-called bicycle theory of free trade argues that countries must continuously monitor trade channels to keep them open in the face of a tendency toward protectionism.

Nation-states play an important role in managing migration, and keeping migration at lower levels than would occur if there were no restrictions. It was noted that five to 10 percent of persons born on many Caribbean island nations have emigrated, but 20 to 25 percent of Puerto Ricans, who are US citizens, have migrated to the mainland US, suggesting that without restrictive US immigration policies, more Dominicans and Jamaicans would migrate to the US.

Many industrial democracies had immigration study commissions in the 1990s, and they issued similar recommendations. One common theme was that controlling illegal immigration is necessary to both maintain legal immigration as well as to facilitate the integration of legal immigrants. This theme may echo in Europe, which in May 1999 begins a five-year process of developing a common EU immigration policy under the Amsterdam Treaty. The starting point for the national governments who will be negotiating will be their national policies. For example, France will probably urge its EU partners to accept French law, while Germany will advocate EU-burden sharing in caring for asylum seekers.

Europe includes three major integration models: French assimilation, German ethnic identity, and British/Dutch multiculturalism. However these seemingly different ways of dealing with newcomers are becoming more similar if, as was argued, general socio-economic policies are more important in determining the status of immigrants and their children than policies targeted on immigrants. This means that full employment means that immigrants can find jobs, and effective schools help immigrant children to succeed in the host nation labor market.

Hargreaves, Alec G. 1995. Immigration, "race" and ethnicity in contemporary France. London. Routledge.

Miller, Mark. 1999. French Insecurity and Immigrants. Migration News. April. //

Tribalat, Michèle. 1995. Faire France. Une enquête sur les immigrés et leurs enfants. Paris. La Découverte.

Weil, Patrick. 1995. La France et ses étrangers. L'aventure d'une politique de l'immigration de 1938 à nos jours. Paris. Folio/Gallimard.
Immigration and Integration: Focus on Lyon, France
May 6-8, 1999
Lodging: Hotel Le Phenix, 7 quai Bondy, F-69005 Lyon
tel 33-4-7828-2424; fax 33-4-7828-6286
Meeting Room: Condition des Soies, Salle Polyvalente, (2nd floor) 7 rue Saint Polycarpe, 69001 Lyon, tel 04 78 3936 36 (left from Place des Terreaux on rue Romarin, left on rue Saint Polycarpe)
Sponsored by:
Migration Dialogue
in cooperation with
Institut Aspen France
and with the support of
the German Marshall Fund of the United States

The purpose of Migration Dialogue is to promote among opinion leaders an off-the-record discussion of the major immigration and integration issues facing the industrial democracies. Three-day seminars are held in places that allow participants during field trips to discuss with immigrants, service providers, and others the day-to-day issues involved in dealing with immigration and integration.
Thursday, May 6, 1999 Arrival Day
12PM-1:40PM Buffet lunch in the Hotel Le Phenix
1:40PM Meet in lobby of Hotel Le Phenix to walk to meeting room
2-2:30PM Welcome and Introductions: Philip Martin, University of California, Davis, and Jean-Christophe Bas, Institut Aspen France
2:30-3:30PM Overview: Immigration and Integration in France
Speakers (15 min each) Patrick Weil, CEPIC, and Amo Ferhati, Espace Integration
Discussants (8 min each) Friedrich Heckmann, European Forum for Migration Studies, and Michael Teitelbaum, Sloan Foundation

In 1998, France embraced a "Grand Bargain:" to improve the rights of some resident foreigners and make it easier for students and professionals to enter and study and work in France, and to get tougher on illegal immigration. About 140,000 foreigners applied for asylum and 80,000 became legal immigrants. This approach is similar to that of the socialist government of 1981, which coupled stepped up enforcement with an amnesty.

1. The French government has swung between the generous amnesty and tough enforcement ends of the spectrum over the past 20 years. What are the major factors that explain why French policy seems to swing between extremes? What is the relationship between policy swings, immigration flows and integration patterns?
2. Is there a trade-off between the number of immigrants and their integration success, or are the major variables: (1) how "different" the newcomers are in terms of education, religion, language, and other socio-economic characteristics; (2) their legal status and rights; (3) the state of the economy; (4) the willingness of foreigners to integrate; and/or (5) the willingness of France to support immigrant institutions with tax funds? What are the trade offs between jus soli and easy naturalization as opposed to letting foreigners remain noncitizens and granting rights to settled foreigners or denizens?

3. Should France and other industrial democracies try to link explicitly immigration and integration, for example, accepting foreigners who are easier to integrate and restricting the entry of those who are harder to integrate? Is there a link between the integration policies adopted and the reasons for the arrival of migrants, e.g. pied noir, guest workers, family unification? Should integration policies change as migration flows and reasons for migration become more diverse?

3:30-3:45 Break
3:45-5 PM Discussion
5:30-6:30PM Meeting with Professor Bruno Gollnisch, National Front, Hotel Le Phenix
7:30-10PM Welcome Reception and Dinner: Fine Arts Museum, Place des Terreaux, Hon. Roger Fauroux, High Integration Council (Haut Conseil à l'Integration).
Friday, May 7, 1999 Economics and Education
7:00-9 AM Breakfast--Hotel Restaurant
9-10:15AM Economic Integration and Discrimination, Chair, Philip Martin
Speaker (15 min) Patrick Simon, INED
Discussants (8 min each) Leo Monz, Deutscher Gewerkschaftsbund and Michael Fix, Urban Institute

Most immigrants arrive to improve their economic well-being, so the labor market and work place are important integration tools.
1. What is the status of foreigners in the French labor market, for example, how do foreigners and natives compare in employment and unemployment and earnings? What are the differences between groups of foreigners? What factors explain observed differences, personal characteristics such as language, education, skills, and motivations, or group characteristics that might be remedied with anti-discrimination policies? What are current anti-discrimination policies, and what more might be done to reduce discrimination against foreigners and ethnic minorities?
2. How do French employers feel about foreigners and native workers? If immigration were to be reduced, how would employers react, for example, raise wages and improve working conditions, automate, or move production overseas? Are second generation foreigners following their parents into their jobs? Why or why not? Is there a trade off between protective labor markets, with high wages and extensive benefits, and entry into the labor force of immigrant children who may be perceived as less desirable workers?

10:15-10:30AM Break
10:30-11:45AM Educating Immigrant Children
Speaker (15 min) Azouz Begag, Economist/Novelist
Discussants (8 min each) Rosi Wolf-Almansreh, Foreigners Commissioner, Frankfurt and Linda Wong, Community Development Technologies, Los Angeles

The children of foreigners are 10 to 20 percent of pupils in many areas. What are the trade offs between teaching all children the same as opposed to separate policies/facilities for immigrant children?
1. What are the pros and cons of the French model of language instruction--that is, immersion in French rather than bilingual or native language instruction? To what extent should immigrant religious beliefs and symbols be accommodated in public institutions such as schools, such as meals and head scarves? What should be done if parental desires conflict with what the school believes is in the best interest of the child?
11:45 PM Adjourn
12:15PM Depart from Hotel Phenix for lunch Confederation Generale des Petites et Moyennes Entreprises (CGPME), 55 rue du Sergent Michel Berthet, 69009 Lyon tel:
3 PM School. College Victor Schoelcher, 273 rue Victor Schoelcher, 69009 - Lyon. Tour La Duchère immigrant neighborhood on foot; visit youth home.
6 PM Depart by bus for Domino in Civrieux D'Azergues (20km from Lyon), a place that houses migrants who are awaiting decisions on whether they will be allowed to remain in France.
7 PM Dinner in Civrieux
9:45PM Depart for Hotel Phenix
Saturday, May 8, 1999 Immigration and Politics
7-9 AM Breakfast--Hotel Restaurant
9- 9:30 AM Immigration in French Politics: Chair, Jean-Christophe Bas
Hon Raymond Barre, Prime Minister, 1978-81,
9:30 AM Speakers (5-10 min each) Patrick Weil, CEPIC, and Zair Kedadouche, Inspection general des affaires sociales
Discussants (8 min each) Barbara John, Foreigners Commissioner, Berlin, Susan Martin, Georgetown University, and Michael Teitelbaum, Sloan Foundation

1. In France, anti-immigrant parties receive 10 to 15 percent of the vote. Five EU countries --Austria, Italy, France, Belgium, and Denmark--have anti-immigrant parties that are supported regularly by more than five percent of voters. How does support for anti-immigrant parties vary with the business cycle? To what extent are votes for anti-immigrant parties symbolic protests?
2. When anti-immigrant parties have come to power, how has their administration affected immigrants, natives and integration?
3. As immigrants naturalize and they and second-generation children of immigrants vote, what role do they play in the political process?
10:30-10:45 AM Break
10:45-11:45AM Discussion
12:15PM Depart from Hotel Phenix for lunch with community leaders in AFPA, 35 Boulevard Jodino, 69200 -Venissieux (those departing on Saturday should take luggage and leave for airport or train station from the Gare de Venissieux- metro)
3 PM Visit Foyer Aralis, Portes du Sud, 73 Route de Corbas, 69200 Vénissieux
5PM Return to hotel
7:30 PM Dinner