• Immigration is one of the main themes of the pre-election campaign.

    On the right and the extreme right, the candidates compete for radical proposals.

  • Gérald Darmanin for his part wanted to reaffirm, Sunday, the firmness of the government in this matter. 

  • The Minister of the Interior has put forward several figures that

    20 Minutes

    has verified.

Communication operation on the fight against illegal immigration, Sunday, for Gerald Darmanin.

In an interview with



and then on his Twitter account, the Minister of the Interior welcomed France's performance in this area, while the theme has settled into the debate for the presidential election of 2022, carried by Eric Zemmour, Marine Le Pen and the candidates for the nomination of LR.

"We are managing to control migratory flows in a difficult geopolitical and health context," said Gérald Darmanin.

We manage to control migratory flows in a difficult geopolitical and health context.

We expel three times more people in an irregular situation than the English, twice as many as the Italians and 50% more than the Spaniards.

- Gérald DARMANIN (@GDarmanin) November 21, 2021

And the Minister of the Interior to give a slew of figures on the escapes to the border in France and in Europe, as well as on the illegals present on the territory.

Affirmations questioned on social networks, some Internet users denouncing "lies to help Macron campaign for his re-election".


To verify such information, it is first necessary to know that a multitude of data exist on immigration.

Each country, each research structure or statistical institute has its own indicators and definitions.

We therefore observed above all the orders of magnitude.

  • Does France expel "three times more people in an irregular situation than the English, twice as many as the Italians and 50% more than the Spaniards"?

The Home Office relies on Eurostat data and sent 

20 Minutes 

a table showing, for the countries of the EU and some of its neighbors, including the United Kingdom, the number of "nationals of countries third parties who have left the territory following an obligation to leave ”.

Before analyzing the figures, it is necessary to distinguish between departure “following an obligation to leave” the territory studied in the table, which prevails for a person in an irregular situation, and “expulsion”, a term used by Gérald Darmanin. , which intervenes when a person threatens public order.

In the document cited by the ministry, it is possible to see that between 2011 and 2019 France has, except in 2017, experienced twice as many departures of people in an irregular situation "following an obligation to leave" than Italy. . Departures were 30% more numerous in France than in Spain for the years 2018 and 2019 alone. And as regards the United Kingdom, the number of nationals of countries outside the European Union who have left the territory is largely higher than France for the past decade.

If we compare the figures for forced returns, that is to say expulsions, as mentioned by Gerald Darmanin, the trend between France and Great Britain is reversed.

According to data from the Ministry of the Interior and those of the British government, France effectively expels more than the United Kingdom, but not three times more, contrary to what Gerald Darmanin said.

In 2019, France recorded 18,906 forced removals, against 7,192 for the United Kingdom.

In 2018, respectively 15,677 against 9,236.

  • Does Great Britain have between 1 and 1.5 million illegal immigrants, against 600,000 and 700,000 in France?

For this assertion, Place Beauvau explains that the minister relies on statistics from the Pew Research Center published in 2019. According to them, there would be between 800,000 and 1.2 million illegals in the United Kingdom, against 300,000 in 400,000 in France, according to the figures indicated, which are therefore different from those put forward by Gérald Darmanin. His entourage defends himself: “The figures vary on this point because by definition, there is no precise estimate. In France, the estimate goes from 400,000 to 900,000 […] The minister therefore gave a median. The same is true for the United Kingdom, with significant variations according to estimates. "

However, the trend is indeed the one announced: France receives fewer people in an irregular situation than the other European countries mentioned.

"A possible explanation for the lower figure in France than in other countries is the existence of a path to obtaining a legal status for people who have lived without authorization in the country for several years and meet certain criteria" , indicates the research center.


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G7 calls on Belarus to end migration crisis 'immediately'

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