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by Maurice Ulrich

The Immigrant

Translated Saturday 27 October 2007, by Gene Zbikowski

The DNA amendment must be withdrawn immediately. The immigration bill must be fought every inch of the way. The whole government policy is disgusting.

It’s so disgusting that even right-wing senators were appalled.

But it seems they have been appeased by a few modifications, and you can bet that the right-wing members of today’s parliamentary commission will unanimously vote the shameful amendment to the immigration bill, on the pretext that it has been amended. What a farce!

They rebel, they protest, and then they come to an agreement. Or they come to order.

All the same, the government tells us, this amounts to much ado, about what, in the prime minister’s words, is supposedly just a “detail.” But if it’s just a detail, why such insistance on keeping it in the bill? France lost at rugby, but the government is keeping the DNA ball in play. DNA would appear to be useful, precious even, at a time when purchasing power is stagnating, factories are closing, and economic growth has broken down; at a time when they’re giving tax breaks to the richest people just before they proclaim that France is “bankrupt,” when they’re preparing an austerity plan, when the EADS affair explodes and they’ve got to watch out for the shrapnel. The immigrant is always there when they need him. The powers-that-be are using the immigration issue to attack immigrants and they use the immigration issue to trick the nation and to hijack people’s minds onto the darkest trains of thought.

The DNA amendment must be withdrawn. That demand was forcefully put this weekend at the Zenith concert hall in Paris, in the cities where petitions are being circulated and where citizens are gathering to reject the flouting of republican values. But there’s more to it than that. The DNA amendment is just the visible tip of a sick and worrying policy. They start by talking about national identity, which they link to immigration. They want to use genetics to pick and choose human beings, just as they earlier broached the question of the supposedly genetic causes of delinquency. They throw out the word “detail” while trying to look innocent, they demand that the police and the gendarmerie [France’s national police force] use motivated personnel (as was spelled out in the government note which l’Humanité published last week) to meet deportation quotas. Motivated personnel? Motivated by what – conviction, taste, political orientation? Yes, this is a policy that truly plays with the kind of fire that turns into a blazing inferno

This is no coincidence. The selective immigration policy, the so-called “immigration to fill jobs” echoes with a denial of humanity. To go and get the labour force that the free trade economy needs from the reservoir constituted by poor countries, it is necessary to strip away the human being, the parent, the citizen. This is indeed what Nicolas Sarkozy said in his speech in Dakar last July, to which we need to return, because this speech is the foundation stone of this immigration policy: “the African has never really entered history (...) This man [the traditional African] never launched himself towards the future,” he is animated by the need “to believe rather than to understand, to feel rather than to reason.” It was also to French public opinion that Sarkozy spoke when he breathed on the embers of colonialism and pardonned the “sincere” colonists.

In these conditions, the phrases on co-development pronounced here and there are not credible.

Sarkozy’s policy is not aimed at the development of poor countries; it is aimed at exploiting them in accordance with the requirements of that policy.

The looting continues. But this policy is not directed only against the poorest of the poor. It is also aimed at workers, right here in France, by bearing down on our social advances through the use of a labour force that has been formatted and deprived of such real human rights as the rights to set up a home, raise a family, participate in the life of the community, or vote. The DNA amendment must be withdrawn immediately. This bill must be fought every inch of the way. The whole government policy is nauseating.

[Translator’s note: No official translation of Sarkozy’s Dakar speech appears to be available. An unofficial translation of the speech can be found at this site: http://www.africaresource.com/content/view/437/68/ ]

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