A surprising 66% of the French in a new poll now support mass “remigration” of illegal immigrants, and foreigners who are either criminals or are on terror watchlists.
The startling number follows a survey late last year that revealed half of French respondents believe that political and business elites are attempting to replace the native population with mass migration. The term “Great Replacement” was coined by French philosopher and writer Renaud Camus, who argues his country’s identity is eroding due to unchecked migration from non-Western cultures.
Supporters of presidential candidate Eric Zemmour’s Reconquest Party support the idea of remigration by 97%, as would be expected. Members of Marine Le Pen’s National Rally Party also backed the measure by an overwhelming 80%, but the surprise is that a large number of President Emmanuel Macron’s party are also on board with resisting further mass migration.
At least partly due to this overwhelming sentiment within the French public, Macron earlier this month called for strengthening Europe’s borders and creating a “rapid reaction force” to protect the EU from migrant surges.
Zemmour, a TV pundit who has soared past Le Pen in popularity among French conservatives, has risen very rapidly in opinion polls. So rapidly, in fact, that some surveys show him reaching the final round of April’s presidential election and garnering 45% of the vote against Macron.
The upstart candidate proposes a new Ministry of Remigration with the goal of deporting as many as a million migrants over five years.
But Zemmour is far from the only candidate to spotlight the loss of control over immigration and the general feeling that lawlessness is the new normal. Valerie Pecreese, the choice of the conservative Les Republicains, takes a tough stance on immigration and calls for an end to “automatic naturalization” at 18 and imposing quotas for countries.
French presidential elections are notoriously unpredictable, as Macron himself proved in 2017. But the clear message coming out of the country in the runup to April is the electorate is tired of being inundated with unchecked migration. Whoever wins faces the daunting challenge of regaining control of the borders and instilling law and order for those within.