Deep State: Senior French Immigration Civil Servant Would Refuse to ‘Collaborate’ if Le Pen Wins Presidency

A woman passes by electoral campaign posters of French President and La Republique en Marc
LOIC VENANCE/AFP via Getty Images

The head of France’s Office of Immigration and Integration (Ofii) has stated that if populist Marine Le Pen wins the French presidency this weekend, he will refuse to “collaborate” with her.

Didier Leschi, the head of Ofii since 2015, stated that he would not “collaborate” with Le Pen if she wins the French presidency in the second round of the presidential elections, which are set to take place this weekend.

“I will not be able to collaborate with a political authority that I will have the deep conviction that it is breaking with our republican traditions,” Leschi said, broadcaster BFMTV reports.

Leschi’s comments coincide with the association France Terre d’Asile, an NGO that supports asylum seekers, who called on French voters to reject Ms Le Pen in the second-round vote.

“Never before has the far-right been so close to coming to power in our country. Never before has public debate given so much space to its ideas and programs that call into question our republican values, the defence of democracy, liberty, equality and fraternity,” the group wrote in a statement.

“In this context, alarmed by what the program of the National Rally represents, France land of asylum calls to block it by voting for Emmanuel Macron on April 24th,” the group added.

Le Pen has called for radical reforms to France’s immigration system and has promised to launch referendums on the subject if elected.

Last week, President of the University of Nantes Carine Bernault called don faculty and students at her university to block Le Pen saying, “I solemnly call on you to vote on April 24 to block the extreme right and therefore the National Rally.”

Bernault was criticised for her email, with National Rally (RN) politician Jordan Bardella arguing that she had broken the rule of neutrality associated with her position as president of the university.

“The position taken by the President of the University of Nantes, in violation of the rules of neutrality imposed by her office, is gross misconduct. The students are right to be outraged. Be free: do not let your choices be dictated by Emmanuel Macron’s friends!” Bardella said.

Last week, a letter signed by around 500 artists also called for French voters to reject Le Pen and vote for President Emmanuel Macron, stating, “We cannot imagine, at the head of France, a candidate whose programme remains that of xenophobia and withdrawal, a candidate who has made an alliance with totalitarian and warmongering powers.”

Despite the calls for voters to reject the populist candidate, polls show the race between the two remains tight, with just a few percentage points splitting the pair.

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


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.