The rise of immigration in Europe, more predominantly in France, was the topic of the night on November 5 when Guillaume Lacroix, the Consul General of France in Chicago, took to the podium in Founders Lounge.
“We need to invest more in security to protect Europe from enemies … Have the capacity to screen the people who are coming,” Lacroix stated, referencing the influx of immigrants who are seeking political asylum in Europe.
The majority of the immigrants who are migrating to Europe are coming from the Middle East and Africa. Some factors that are gearing individuals to immigrate stem from the desire to seek prosperity and protection.
“Let us recognize the right for the person who is fleeing oppression,” Lacroix said.
With the influx of immigration coming into Europe from the Middle East and Africa, Lacroix explained the diversity and multiculturalism in Europe and how this came to be.
“Was made [diversity] more through war and conflict than with peace,” said Lacroix.
The topic of immigration arose the discussion about the integration of democracy in the European Union and the pivotal role of the United States during World War II.
Lacroix turned the discussion to the audience in a question and answer forum where questions were geared towards the politics of France and the European Union, asking about the rise of nationalism in Italy and Poland and the burqa ban in France.
“You can be a patriot without being a nationalist, but we don’t think that our country is always right,” Lacroix answered to the question, adding how the leadership in those countries are working to combat some international treaties signed regarding migration and asylum.
Lacroix failed to answer the question why France outlawed Muslim women from wearing a burqa in public.