As is the case for many economically developed members of the European Union, border security is a pressing problem in France. That is not to say that the country is at risk of being invaded; instead, it is facing a moral dilemma. The state struggles to deal with the pressure of mass migration and stopping it could violate basic human rights (Müller, 2020).
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While immigration does not have to be a negative phenomenon, it tends to concern the native population, and there are good reasons for it. Firstly, the way immigrants are perceived is directly proportionate to the amount of trust people have in the police and other national institutions (Danaj, Lazányi, & Bilan, 2018). Secondly, the immigrants in France tend to be of low economic status and in need of state support, which understandably upsets the locals.
However, neither of these reasons for public unrest in France could surpass the issue of terrorist attacks. In fact, it was these attacks that triggered the discussions of border securitization (Lamour, 2019). The relatively recent acts of terrorism in France have made this problem even more acute. Debates over a harsher immigration and integration policies are rampant. The unfortunate consequence is that many innocent immigrants and even their children born in France are not fully accepted by the population. There is no doubt that terrorism is a more severe threat to national security than any economic disadvantages caused by immigrants.
Unfortunately, there is no definitive solution to these issues at the moment. While additional security measures can be taken, as long as people are allowed to enter the country, there will always be risks. The flow of immigrants is also unlikely to stop in the foreseeable future, as the benefits of living in the EU seem rather appealing. For now, no regulation can be introduced to stop mass migration without human rights abuse.
Danaj, A., Lazányi, K., & Bilan, Y. (2018). Perceptions and implications of immigration in France-economic, social, political and cultural perspectives. Economics & Sociology, 11(3), 226-247.
Lamour, C. (2019). Mass media and border securitization in Europe: Investigating the metropolitan “Mediapolis” in an era of right-wing populism. Journal of Urban Affairs, 41(4), 535-550.
Müller, O. (2020). ‘Solidarity crime’ at the border: A lesson from France. In M. Ambrosini, M. Cinalli, & D. Jacobson (Eds.), Migration, borders and citizenship: Between policy and public spheres (pp. 89-107). Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan.
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