France’s non-conformist, anti-globalist presidential candidate Éric Zemmour has promised French voters that, if elected next month, his administration will establish a ‘Ministry of Remigration,’ with the stated objective of repatriating at least 100,000 “unwanted foreigners” annually.
Zemmour’s pledge, which among other things may be an attempt to galvanize the country’s dormant right-wing voters, was made early this week during an interview segment with the French broadcaster M6, and comes amid a backdrop of stagnant to sinking poll numbers, with just seventeen days to go until 65 million French citizens head to the ballot boxes to elect a new president, Le Figaro reports.
“This is the reason for my candidacy. I see French identity threatened by a great population replacement and I want to stop it,” added, warning France will be a Muslim country” by 2060 if current migration levels persist into the future.
“For years I’ve talked about the Great Replacement, and I’ve been told that it doesn’t exist, that it’s a conspiracy thesis. In truth, it is the replacement of our ways of life,” Zemmour argued.
“When someone comes to your house and trashes everything and assaults you, you kick them out of your house and you send them home,” the presidential hopeful continued. “You shouldn’t be afraid of words that upset a small [journalistic] environment.”
According to the Reconquête leader, the proposed ministry would be tasked with overseeing and facilitating the repatriation of “illegal, delinquent and criminal foreigners,” as well as those who’ve been classified by the French intelligence agency as threats to the country’s security. The repatriations, which Zemmour vowed would total one million in five years, would be assisted via new agreements with countries like Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and others.
Later on in the interview, Zemmour argued the majority of French Rightists “think exactly as he does,” just like the voters and former voters of the Rassemblement National (RN) “who consider that Marine Le Pen has abandoned the fundamentals of his party.”
Although Le Pen, throughout her presidential campaign, has put forward similar proposals—also calling for the expulsion of illegal immigrants, foreign delinquents, criminals, and those deemed to be security threats—the RN leader, unlike Zemmour, hasn’t gone so far as to suggest a new ministry be established to implement the proposals.
On Tuesday, following Zemmour’s remarks, Interim President of Rassemblement National Jordan Bardella slammed his rival’s idea, saying: “These are demagogic proposals. The ministry in charge of managing immigration is called the Ministry of the Interior.”
After having peaked in the polls at around 17% some months ago, even overtaking his right-wing rival Le Pen at one point, support for Zemmour has slumped considerably in recent weeks, especially following Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. Months prior to Putin’s so-called ‘special military operation’—and as tensions escalated along the Ukraine-Russia border—Zemmour argued that the U.S. had been seeking to divide Europe against itself, and called on the Élysée to establish friendly relations with Moscow.
One month later, following the outset of the invasion, Zemmour’s numbers began to sink, despite several influential RN politicians and figures within the party’s orbit having defected to his campaign.
As of the past few weeks, the Reconquête leader has consistently polled between 9% and 13% of the first-round vote, behind Macron, Le Pen, and left-wing candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon.