The President of Republic
[who's concerned ?]

Interview of July 14th 1996 [ about immigration]:

français  / english / deutsch

P. Poivre d'Arvor : [ Do you believe that "charters" look like to a...] fair average between human behaviour and efficaciousness ?

Jacques Chirac : You see... I don't belive that immigration issue seems it has to be be exactly treated that way . First, of course, I'm as well sensible than anybody else when I see, when I saw, while I was Paris' Mayor, families fully given up, because they where in reality illicites, and either had not any right nor where homeless.

A. Duhamel : What about children that were born into France...

Jacques Chirac : About kids that are born in France... for some [families]. Well, I'm sensible to them too. I am not a stone-hearted man. Though, what I say is that... We have to efficaciously refuse the illicit immigration. Michel Rocard (fmr 1st Minister) was saying, if I remember: "France cannot welcome the wide world misery".

P. Poivre d'Arvor : Yes...

Jacques Chirac : It's obvious! I mean, whatever one's thinking, from left as well from right, it's obvious! and, ahem.., it's necessary to set up any meanings that exist, eventually complementary meanings in order to prevent it. Well, beyond those technical meanings that consist in preventing peoples to illicitly install them into our Country, there is, ahem.. a political signal that has to be sent to foreign countries.. They are communities where things are very quickly known. If ever it is told, abroad "in France, everybody can come, there are a few chances to be punished", then, everybody come! If one's told " Be cautious, France is a country that watch out itself", then, it widely dissuades . A strong political signal has to be sent in order that..., those that should be susceptible to come as illicit immigrates have to know that they don't have any more chance in France.. This is of first importance! It supposes two others comp... a couple of compensations. Of course, first is realizing every necessary processus to integrate in our country as we traditionally do it with legal immigrates. Second, that's why I fight, even into foreign countries, when I go to G-7 meeting in Lyon or anywhere else, I fight for maintaining international development help, also, I fight against some anglo-saxons countries disinvolvement about this issue. Because if we don't want to get anymore clandestine immigration, obviously we have to make efforts in international solidarity that are necessary for those uprooted peoples..., those that don't wish to become that way..., may find, at home, thanks to an enough development, ahem...; find the ablety to get a living in their country. Thus development helping policy is the indispensable complement to the firmness policy regarding to clandestine immigration.

Letter to Intermediries; July 29th 1996


Mister Ambassador,

You asked me for an audience,in the name of Intermediaries Council for Africans from "Rue Pajol".

Unfortunally, contraints due to my timing don't allow me to receive you.

I made a note from your "Addressed to the Government in order to get a complete renewing of policy facing foreigners". I don't doubt that document contribute to the current reflexion about policy in the matter of immigration.

May you agree, Mister Ambassador, my best regards.


Mr. Stéphane HESSEL
Collège of intermediaries
14, r d'Assas
75006 PARIS - Francce