New [French] immigration minister, Brice Hortefeux, confirmed on Wednesday that the government is planning to offer incentives to more immigrants to return home voluntarily. "We must increase this measure to help voluntary return. I am very clearly committed to doing that," Hortefeux said in an interview with RFI radio.
Under the scheme, Paris will provide each family with a nest egg of â‚¬6,000 ($8,000) for when they go back to their country of origin. A similar scheme, which was introduced in 2005 and 2006, was taken up by around 3,000 families.
Hortefeux, who heads up the new "super-ministery" of immigration, integration, national identity and co-development, said he wants to pursue a "firm but humane" immigration policy.
The new ministry was a central pledge in Nicolas Sarkozy's election campaign, who had warned that France was exasperated by "uncontrolled immigration."[France to Pay Immigrants to Return Home May 24, 2007]