Macron gets tough as France struggles to deal with migrants

Macron gets tough as France struggles to deal with migrants, by Elaine Ganley.

Macron’s government is now tightening the screws: ramping up expulsions, raising pressure on economic migrants and allowing divisive ID checks in emergency shelters.

Critics contend that Macron’s increasingly tough policy on migrants — though wrapped in a cloak of goodwill — contradicts his image as a humanist who defeated an anti-immigrant populist for the presidency, and has crossed a line passed by no other president in the land that prides itself as the cradle of human rights. …

Macron has made clear he wouldn’t accept economic migrants in France, wants those who don’t qualify for asylum expelled and doesn’t want them even trying to come to France. …

Far-right leader Marine Le Pen, defeated by Macron in the May presidential race, sees the direction the government is taking as a “political victory” for her anti-immigration National Front party. …

On the ground, authorities are scrambling to show they are following the president’s clear-the-streets orders. …

Patrick Weil, among France’s leading immigration specialists, said Macron “tweets about human rights and refugees during the day and at night gives the opposite orders.”

Weil contended on BFM-TV that Macron’s approach is “the most extreme we’ve had since the war.”

It’s coated “with a smile, with bonbons, but in practice it’s a dagger,” he said.