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Madagascar: Malagasy bloggers in France criticize Sarkozy's proposed immigration policy

The platform on which France's new president Nicolas Sarkozy was elected proposes the creation of a ministry of immigration and national identity. Immigrants who have been living in France for a substantial amount of time would have to go through a strict application process providing evidence of their attachment to France to obtain permission to stay as full citizens. This new sets of law has the Malagasy bloggers in France discussing the new deal with disappointment and a bit of sarcasm. Tattum wrote a post illustrating what this new set of rules means to her. It also generated a few opinions in the comment sections by other bloggers.

Candidate pour une immigration choisie?

J'ai achevé les études que je suis venue faire, unique période de ma vie où j'ai bénéficié des allocations françaises, pour le logement. Hmm… Comme la grande majorité des étudiants, je présume. Je n'ai pas à rougir de mon entrée dans la vie active à la française, m'étant même mieux sortie que des amis de promotion bien français, de souche s'il fallait incongrûment le préciser. Bâti un réseau professionnel honorable du côté du Sud-Ouest de la France, rencontré des personnes formidables qui vous jugent sur vos valeurs et compétences, s'est vu proposer trois CDI en quatre ans….

Mais s'il fallait remplir un dossier de candidature pour justifier cela, je ne me ferais pas chier pour un sou ne m'embêterais pas, ne me donnerais pas la peine, ne daignerais pas, ne me plierais pas en 4, ni en 2. Rien en-deça de la fierté. Parce que lorsque le vent tourne et change de cap, je ne me place jamais en contre-sens.

Candidate for a selected immigration?

I completed the studies I came to achieve, the only period of my life where I benefited from French allowances for housing. Hmm… Like the large majority of the students I suppose. I won’t be ashamed of my entry in the French professional world. I have even done better than some of my French-born classmates, if I had to make such an incongruous comparison. I built an honorable professional network in the Southwest of France, met formidable people who judge you on your values and competence, and was offered three job contracts in four years, …

But if it is now necessary to file a candidate report [for immigrant status] to justify that, I just wouldn't give a crap or bother with it anymore, wouldn't give in to the hassle, wouldn't deign, wouldn't bend over, there is still some pride and I won’t stomp beyond. Because when the wind turns and changes course, I will never go against it.

In the comment section : Lutinewink says she feels pretty ostracized by the new laws:

Oui, on peut dire que je me sens hyper visée par ce probable futur ministère de l'immigration et de l'identité nationale…L'ironie étant que j'avais justement réuni toutes les pièces nécessaires à une demande de naturalisation. Autour de moi, beaucoup de personnes, notamment les collègues de “job” ont été surprises d'apprendre que je n'avais pas la nationalité française tellement ils me pensaient “intégrée” sans doute

Yes, one can say that I feel targeted by this future ministry of immigration and national identity… the irony is that I just put together my application for citizenship. People around me, in particular my colleagues at work, were surprised to learn that I did not have French nationality. They undoubtedly thought I was fully “integrated”

Vola sista says that she understands the new president’s policy:

Pourtant aujourd'hui on y repensant bien, à Mada, si je devais être présidente, j'appliquerai (ou presque) les mêmes lois que celles pensées là bas en métrople à propos de l'immigration!”Ceux qui n'aiment pas Mada, dégage!

However today, if I were to think it over, were I the president of Madagascar, I would apply (almost) the same laws as those elaborated over there in metropolitan France with respect to immigration! “Mada(gascar) love it or leave it !

Nivo underlines the issue with the intent of the new laws. She thinks it cheapens the human aspect of the issue and the criteria for naturalization are highly subjective.

Concernant l'immigration choisie, il est clair que je désapprouve ce qu'il propose, non pas en tant qu'étrangère vivant en France, mais en tant que personne respectueuse des dignités humaines et du libre arbitre et du choix concernant la direction que chacun veut donner à son existence
Et puis, comment réellement apprécier la “qualité”, l”amour”, l'”engagement” d'un individu envers un pays étranger ? Je ne pense pas qu'il y ait de critères assez objectifs pour nous permettre d'être juges… C'est bien dommage. Ca aurait arranger tellement de choses….

Regarding selective immigration, it is clear that I disapprove of what is proposed, not as a foreigner living in France, but as someone who respects human dignity and free will. Someone who respects the choice regarding the direction each of us wants to give to our existence. Moreover, how can one really assess “quality,” “love” or the “engagement” [the criteria suggested for naturalization] that an individual feels towards a foreign country? I do not think that these criteria are objective enough to enable us to make a judgment.…It is a pity. This would make things so much easier…

Rotsaka points out the eerie similarity between the increasingly authoritarian decisions made in France and in Madagascar.

Sylvain Urfer vient d etre expulé, sans raison comme cela selon le bon vouloir de l Etat malgache, 30 ans de vie rayées d un trait sans explication, le mépris supreme. Pas le premier apres Peguy de RFI et le gars des Nouvelles de Mada mais un embleme. Il a tellement fait pour Anosibe, il est maintenant non grata.
Parce que je ne veux pas qu en France l arbitraire prenne le pouvoir, je preferais Sego, sans passion… Parce que je supporte pas l idee que des malgaches installés en France puisse se sentir méprisés ou rejetés aussi.

Sylvain Urfer [a French catholic priest who has done charity work for decades in Madagascar] without any reason except for the whim of the Malagasy government. 30 years of one’s life striped without any explanation, an instance of ultimate contempt. Not the first one either after Peguy of RFI and the guy of “the Nouvelles” but quite a symbol still. He did so much for Anosibe, and he is now persona non grata. Because I do not want an authoritarian France to seize power, I preferred Sego, without much passion… Because I cannot stand the idea that Malagasy in France would feel scorned or rejected too.

Sipakv is a bit amused considering their respective policies that the US president was the first one to welcome the new French president.

Non pas que j’eus un doute sur le visage -et les tics, sic!- du président mais l’espoir fait vivre et m’a fait suivre le déroulement du grand final, arrimée au bord du Potomac river. D’ailleurs, notre héros local a été le premier parait-il à décrocher le bigophone pour le féliciter. Dommage que leurs temps ne concordent pas, ils auraient été bras dessus bras dessous faire la revue des troupes en Irak.

Not that I had a doubt about the next president but one keeps hoping so I followed the unfolding of the grand finale (2nd round of presidential election), not too far from the Potomac River. Apparently, our local hero [US President George Bush] was the first to pick up the phone to congratulate [Sarkozy]. It's a pity that their time in power did not occur at the same time, they would have been shoulder to shoulder to review the troops in Iraq.

Harinjaka writes in Malagasy a humorous post on the all-powerful French government and Sarkozy, whom he calls “petits corps malade”.

Hjk [mg]
bedy izay tsy mitovy hevitra amin’i “petit corps malade”, bedy raha mandeha mafy amin’ny aotômobilina na tsy mamatotra fehikibo, bedy ny tena raha tera-tany vahiny ka mba te hitady ravinahitra aty amin’i la frantsa reny malala

We are reprimanded if we do not agree with “petit corps malade,” we are reprimanded if we speed or if we don’t use a seat belt, we are reprimanded if we are born in a foreign country and we are looking for success in our beloved motherly France…

1 comment

  • lemba

    Madagascar is big enough, and rich enough to support its population. The problem is that corruption runs deep, and the “Andafy” mentality constitutes the main obstacle for a desperately needed self-assertiveness.
    When the malagasy people are going to realize that the development of Madagascar depends on the effort of its own people ?
    Why are the karana and sinoa more economically successful
    than the natives ? Because they are more focused on making money, while my fellow countrymen and women wait for a manna from France..They do commercial business instead of spending too much time studying for diplomas.

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