Most French Blame Migration Policy For Riots

A majority of the French public desires reduced immigration following a wave of deadly riots this month. The riots were tied to the death of a young man of North African descent, killed by police during a traffic incident.

According to a poll commissioned by the newspaper Le Figaro, 59% of the public called the riots “the consequence of the failures of our migration policy.”

Furthermore, 71% of the French public believes that the country should reduce immigration. A large majority of 84% condemned the riots and nearly nine-in-ten French stated that they fear for the future of the country.

Former French President Francois Hollande said that the riots were caused by COVID restrictions and economic struggles since the start of the pandemic. 

The former president said that these factors caused some of the country’s youth to withdraw “in on itself, in on its neighborhoods, in on its networks, in on its communities and that led to a loss of openness, of discipline and of the rules of life in society.”

French Interior Minister Gerald Damanin said that 90% of those arrested in the riots were French citizens.

The riots began after the young person identified by his first name “Nahel” was shot and killed after he refused to pull over his Mercedes. The officer is under investigation for the homicide and stated through his attorney that he intended to shoot Nahel in the leg.

He blamed the issue on “young offenders, no foreigners.” 

However, images of the riot appeared to show the rioters as disproportionately descended from countries outside of Europe. 

Former presidential candidate Marine Le Pen said that the Interior Minister’s comments represented a “false reality. He knows very well that an ultra-majority of people involved feel foreign or are of foreign origin.”

The scope of the riots, which included the attempted assassin of a mayor near Paris, has shaken French society. 

The country banned the sale of fireworks for its annual Bastille Day celebrations on July 14. Some of the rioters have used fireworks to shoot at law enforcement. 

The French government banned the sale of pyrotechnics “to prevent the risk of serious disturbances to public order.”