“Using the coffin of a 12-year-old girl as a trampoline is a shame, Mr. Congressman, do not add to the most absolute atrocity the unworthy business of demagoguery.” The French Minister of Justice, Éric Dupond-Moretti, in the National Assembly, responded this week in the National Assembly, minutes after a right-wing deputy used the murder of Lola Daviet to criticize the, as he said, “laxity of the Government” with immigration. Dupond-Moretti then turned to the extreme right-wing caucus, Agrupación Nacional, and added: “And I think the worst is yet to come in a few moments, with those who come, always on time, to the appointment of misfortune, from which they have been making their honey for years”.
France wants to make up for lost time with renewablesRELATED
The death of the 12-year-old girl, whose body was found last Friday, October 14 in Paris, has become the subject of parliamentary debate in a matter of days. Éric Pauget, deputy for the Alpes-Maritimes constituency, close to Éric Ciotti – candidate for the presidency of the Republicans – was the first to raise the issue. “Although modesty would have prevented me from questioning him on the matter, anger cannot dissuade me from doing so,” Pauget began. “Once again, the link between uncontrolled immigration and crime is clear,” he said, drawing outrage and boos from the left and from the presidential majority.
Shortly after, the leader of the extreme right, Marine Le Pen, addressed the Prime Minister, Élisabeth Borne, directly. “You cannot ignore this issue, as you do in all circumstances, as the minister of injustice [sic] crying out against political recovery, and attacking with that hackneyed argument those of us who are scandalized by what has happened.” “A little decency,” replied Élisabeth Borne. “In the face of a tragedy, let us first respect the pain of the family and let the police and justice do their job.”
In fact, some politicians had already referred to the crime a few days before, outside Parliament. Once it was published that the alleged murderer of Lola Daviet is of Algerian nationality, the case was mentioned on Sunday by many accounts linked to the extreme right, which in France is known as the fachossphere.
Éric Zemmour, practically disappeared from the forefront of national politics after failing to achieve parliamentary representation in the legislative elections, was one of the first to link the event with immigration, concluding one of his messages with the hashtag #francocide [‘francocidio’]. It is a term that Zemmour has included in his speeches for a few months and with which he seeks to allude to alleged crimes committed by immigrants against the French “of souche” [de pura cepa]. Various expert voices have rejected this concept and denounce its use for racist purposes.
Zemmour and Jordan Bardella – candidate to succeed Marine Le Pen in the presidency of the National Association – used the crime to attack Emmanuel Macron on Twitter, and established links between the Tribute by the Head of State to the Algerian demonstrators killed by the French police in 1961 either congratulations to the new Ballon d’Or Karim Benzema (French of Algerian origin) with the absence of statements regarding the murder. The truth is that Macron received the teenager’s family at the Elysee on Tuesday to “assure them of all his solidarity and support.”
Neither the right nor the extreme right have missed the opportunity to attack the government on security and immigration issues, especially in the context of the elections for the leadership of the Republicans and the National Association, which will take place over the next months. “In addition to a tragedy that affects a family, there is a lot of indecency on the part of the people who are turning this story into an electoral pamphlet,” Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin had criticized in the morning in rtl radioin relation to Bardella and Zemmour.
Reconquista -Zemmour’s party-, and several far-right organizations, were present this Thursday at various demonstrations organized by the Institute for Justice (IPJ), a thinktank conservative. Le Pen’s formation, National Association, decided not to attend at the last minute.
“It is terrible and unacceptable”
Several child protection organizations have denounced the political use of the crime. “What is happening is terrible and unacceptable, the cause of child violence has never been exploited in this way,” said Martine Brousse, president of the association La Voix de l’Enfant, in the newspaper Le Parisien. “And it is even more terrible because a minority of politicians have dared to use this drama for their own ends. It is the first time in 40 years of commitment that we have faced such a recovery.”
For his part, Dominique Sopo, president of SOS Racisme, assured on the Franceinfo channel that the use of murder is “totally indecent”. “It’s a pretty sordid act by the extreme right,” said Sopo, who also denounced the reaction of “a part of” the right. “I see that a whole part of the political arc doesn’t see the murder of a young woman and a family to feel compassion for, but sees a political opportunity to actually develop a fairly obvious and quite crude racist argument,” said the activist, who He also criticized Gérald Darmanin for, in his opinion, “maintaining” for weeks “the link between immigration and crime.”
SOS Racisme also denounced that Zemmour was “inventing a racial motive for a crime that does not have one”, which “facilitates the stigmatization of an entire population using a logic of generalization, in this case ‘the Algerians’, and more generally ‘the immigrants”.
The issue of expulsions
One issue in particular focuses the debates: the processing of obligations to leave French territory (OQTF, for its acronym in French). In the case of the alleged murderer of Lola Daviet, it has emerged that she arrived in France in 2016 with a student visa, that she had no criminal record and that an expulsion order had been issued in August.
In France, a person whose asylum application is rejected by the authorities – the Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless Persons and, in case of appeal, by the National Asylum Court – can receive an OQFT after an individual examination of their administrative situation , by the prefecture of the department in which they are located, which must ensure that the person does not have any residence application in process. The expulsion order gives a period of 30 days to voluntarily leave the territory, after which the person can be detained in a center or assigned residence.
In an interview granted to the ultraconservative magazine Current values in October 2019, Macron said that 100% of the OQTFs would be met by the end of his first term. According to figures from the Ministry of the Interior, today 20% of them are carried out, a figure that includes voluntary departures from the territory, which, in fact, would be the majority of that percentage. “The level of compliance with the OQTF is today the highest since President Sarkozy’s term in office,” the government spokesman, Olivier Véran, said on Wednesday, noting at the same press conference that the government had to “improve” in the matter.
This fall, the start of a parliamentary consultation and debate process is scheduled to process a new immigration law, a text that should see the light of day in early 2023. In September, during a parliamentary hearing on the subject, Gérald Darmanin advanced his will to toughen the measures against foreigners who have committed a crime, for whom the current legislation already provides for an accelerated expulsion procedure. In addition, according to the draft of the text, to which he has had access the newspaper Le Mondealso intends to speed up the procedures of the OQTF and to prolong the period of administrative detention while the expulsion is being processed.
However, in practice, the execution of a deportation is complex, due to the saturation of detention centers and the difficult diplomatic relations with many countries of origin that either limit the number of returns, or directly refuse to accept them. In fact, the return of expelled citizens was already at the center of a controversy between France and Algeria at the beginning of the year, in which Paris pressured Algiers by reducing the number of visas for Algerian citizens.