Tuesday, May 02, 2006

France's New Immigration Bill

While America struggles to define it's laws on immigration, let alone reform them, France's Parliament discusses a new bill with stricter regulations on immigrants, including proposing that new immigrants learn the French language and culture.

Wow. They want to maintain a national language and a national culture, uniting them as Frenchmen (or Frogs, to some). Do you think that France has learned from Canada and the United States? Canada narrowly escaped Quebec ceceding and forming it's own country centered around the French language and culture, and we are busy changing signs to read in English and Spanish.

Of course there are objections to the bill. Protesters marched on Paris - all 5,000 of them.

French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy "insists that after last year's riots in largely immigrant suburbs, it is time for France to get tough and to make sure it is attracting people who want to integrate" reports Emma Jane Kirby, BBC News, Paris .

At least France recognizes that there is a lot more to immigration than whether or not the borders should be open. And at the root of their argument: language and culture. Now I'm sure there's a message for America in there somewhere....

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