Document Type


Publication Date



Political Science


Gary Prevost


A French person who speaks of immigration is speaking about the large population of Arabs and West Africans who have migrated to France over the last 20-30 years, the majority of whom are legal citizens. At issue are the problems surrounding the integration of millions of people who are of a different race, religion, and culture into a society which does not accept difference. Why does immigration continue to exist despite attempts at regulation and general public opposition? The economics of immigration must also be considered in examining immigration policy. The debate over immigration in France in the 1900s involves some of the most basic ideals of French society; the principles that were set forth at the time of the French Revolution in 1789: unity of cultural an political values as well as a very strong sense of national identity and shared history. Recent legislation has taken on racist undertones encouraged by the extreme-right political group, the Front National. Each successive law further endangers the safety and security of both legal and illegal immigrants, extending even to French citizens who appear Arab.