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French Illegal Immigrants Now Face Deportation

<i> Reuters</i>

Bowing to opinion polls and public anger at a rash of violence in immigrant ghettos, France’s Socialist government has warned illegal immigrants they will now be forcibly deported.

The get-tough move by Prime Minister Edith Cresson, made public Monday, delighted her conservative opponents stunned some left-wing supporters.

For dismayed anti-racist groups close to the Socialists, the government’s announcement--which included a pledge to use special flights if necessary--conjured up images of government charter planes heading for the Third World crammed with dejected deportees under armed guard.

But the far-right National Front of Jean-Marie Le Pen claimed an “ideological victory,” saying that by forcing authorities to make immigration the main political issue, “the National Front has scored its first political triumph.”

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