Media Fact-Checks Claim Up to 90 Per Cent of Deportations Fail, Find Real Stat Is Even Worse

Asylum seekers, mainly from Afghanistan, wait during the evacuation of a camp by police forces in Pantin, northeastern suburbs of Paris, on May 11, 2022 (Photo by JULIEN DE ROSA / AFP) (Photo by JULIEN DE ROSA/AFP via Getty Images)
JULIEN DE ROSA/AFP via Getty Images

French media have fact-checked claims by conservative and populist politicians that 88 to 90 per cent of deportations in France are not carried out and found that the true figure is actually even worse.

Pierre Cordier of the Le Républicains commented on the deportation rate in France this week saying that “88 per cent of expulsions are not applied in France,” adding: “Emmanuel Macron had said that under the second term, there would be 100 per cent [of deportations] applied.”

Others, such as National Rally MEP Jordan Berdella, have claimed that as many as 90 per cent of deportation orders are not carried out.

French public broadcaster France Info, perhaps seeking to “debunk” the right, produced a fact-check report on the claims — and found the true failure rate is actually even higher.

The broadcaster noted that figures from the Ministry of the Interior state that in 2020 just 7 per cent of deportations were actually carried out, meaning 93 per cent were not.

In the first half of 2021, meanwhile, an even higher 94 per cent of deportation orders were not followed through.

Even prior to the Chinese coronavirus pandemic, France saw just 12 per cent of deportations carried out between 2018 and 2019.

According to the broadcaster, there are a number of reasons for the exceptionally low rates of deportations from France, such as an appeals process that can become lengthy and the fact that sometimes police simply do not know where the illegal immigrants in question are.

In some cases, the governments of foreign countries are unwilling to take their nationals back, as was the case with several North African countries last year — which caused President Emmanuel Macron to respond by limiting the number of visas for nationals from Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco.

Macron’s policy came after it was revealed that Algeria had taken back just 22 of the nearly 8,000 nationals France wished to deport.

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



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