Le Pen Reveals Immigration Referendum Plan Ahead of Presidential Elections

Leader of French far-right party Rassemblement National (RN) and candidate for the presidential elections Marine Le Pen arrives to give a press conference as part of her campaign in Paris, on September 28, 2021. (Photo by ALAIN JOCARD / AFP) (Photo by ALAIN JOCARD/AFP via Getty Images)
ALAIN JOCARD/AFP via Getty Images

Populist French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen has revealed her plan to hold a referendum if she is elected French president next year that could drastically reduce immigration into the country.

Le Pen’s bill, which will be called the Citizenship, Identity and Immigration bill, was introduced by the National Rally (RN) candidate on Tuesday and is aimed to tackling three key objectives: control of migration flows, protection of French nationality and citizenship as well as the supremacy of the French constitution.

According to a report from the broadcaster BFMTV, Le Pen would like to enact multiple measures, including prioritizing French nationals for housing and employment, as well as facilitating more deportations and having asylum applications be undertaken overseas.

The last point is something that has been discussed previously by the Danish government in recent months, with the Danish parliament voting for a proposal in June that could see asylum claims processed in asylum reception centres abroad.

Le Pen has also vowed to halt family reunification migration also known as chain migration, which often accounts for a large number of migrants per year in various countries such as Sweden where the amount is often higher than new asylum claims.

The end of birthright citizenship, or Jus soli, is another goal for Le Pen in her proposal. France birthright citizenship laws are not as simple as other countries where a child born of foreign parents is automatically granted citizenship for being born within the country’s territory.

In France, automatic citizenship at birth is only granted if at least one parent is already French (or was born before 1994 in a former French colony) or the child is stateless. Under certain circumstances, children born in French territory can later claim citizenship.

During her press conference, Ms Le Pen said that her proposals were “firm but realistic, therefore politically and legally viable and therefore enforceable,” and noted that other presidential candidates and potential candidates had adopted firmer stances on immigration as well.

Former Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier, who is also aiming for the French Presidency, has also expressed an anti-mass migration view, stating in August that he would take a harder stance on the issue than current President Emmanuel Macron.

Le Pen also revealed the question on the referendum that would be posed to the French public on immigration.

“Elected, I will present a referendum,” Le Pen said and added, “Do you approve of the Citizenship Identity and Immigration bill that will present a comprehensive immigration control plan?”

Le Pen has floated the idea of a referendum on immigration for several years after claiming in 2019 that President Macron had not made any substantial changes on the subject since being elected in 2017.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)breitbart.com

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