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Since the end of the 1970s, when labour migration was halted, immigration has been the hot potato of French politics, argues Sarah Wolff. Ever since its electoral breakthrough in 1982, the Front National has capitalised on the anxieties of the French society towards globalization, the economic and financial crisis as well as the disappointment with the current European project, seen by many as a big liberal market where social safety nets are being dismantled. In the current campaign, the right-wing is copying Marine Le Pen’s programme on immigration, in the hope to attract its electorate.
The far-left presents the most humanistic ideas, although outside of EU treaties, while the centrist candidate stresses that asylum is a right and migrants are a strength for the economy.
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