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France targets to attain 50% economic immigration

France on Monday fixed itself a target according to which economic immigration will represent 50% of the registered immigrants who wish to settle permanently in France. 

France will authorize a certain number of immigrants to settle in the country, while insisting on them to “respect our values” and “controlling the extent of migratory waves,” according to a “letter of mission” from French President Nicolas Sarkozy which was submitted to French immigration and national identity minister Brice Hortefeux. Family groupings in France will be subordinate, from then onwards, to having an accommodation and sufficient incomes to sustain a family. New arrivals coming for family groupings must sit for a French language test and sign a mandatory reception and integration contract. The new minister for immigration is charged with “reinforcing and deepening selective immigration policy” and to define a management policy for migratory influx at the European level, notably the creation of an “European border police” and strengthening of European cooperation in the field of forcible repatriation and prohibition of massive regularizations.

The government expects to change its modalities of hosting foreign students, by diversifying their origins and recruiting more students in scientific disciplines. It also intends to establish permanent visas enabling a two-way movement of foreign students returning to their countries of origin, and to facilitate the issuance of business visas. President Sarkozy's idea is to have a clear development assistance policy in immigration source countries, “in the light of controlling migratory influx.” Development assistance will be part of agreements on concerted immigration to be signed with the countries of origin. The government also commits itself to curb illegal immigration more efficiently. Regularizations will be implemented on the basis of “case by case, in exception cases, only if humanitarian reasons justifies it.” (