During his presidential campaign, François Hollande promised a different immigration policy from that of his predecessor, Nicolas Sarkozy. “There will be no mass deportations, just on a case-by-case basis,” said the Socialist candidate to the French presidency. “No minority will be stigmatized or used as a scapegoat.”
Yet nine months after coming to power, this promise has melted away. Interior Minister Manuel Valls has even broken the deportation record held by his predecessor, the ultra-conservative Claude Guéant. Last year, 36,822 foreigners were sent back to their countries, an 11-percent rise from the 33,000 deportations of 2011, according to official figures.
A third of these deportees were European citizens: Romanian and Bulgarian Gypsies.