The battle for Europe’s soul, much like that of America, is being waged over immigration. European nations are being flooded with immigrants by the millions, many of whom are poor, illiterate, unskilled and often unwilling to assimilate. They cluster in enclaves of their fellow immigrants and create miniature versions of everything they left behind. More often than not, these new ghettos become violent no-go zones, where native born citizens are distinctly unwelcome and even the police fear to enter.
Europe’s immigration situation, however, has one distinctive feature that makes it as different as night and day from the battle over America’s illegal aliens. The member states of the European Union opened their borders willingly, embraced multiculturalism with mind numbing certainty, and welcomed this virtual deluge of unemployed and mostly unemployable foreigners to their shores. Not only were the huddled masses of Africa, Asia, and the Middle East invited to come, but the governments of Europe were happy to pay the bill.
Fast forward a few decades and we have a different story. Europe in 2013 no longer resembles the proud collection of individual nations that survived Hitler and Communism to become freedom loving, economic powerhouses. Native populations are dwindling, only to be replaced by the reality of high immigrant birth rates. At the same time, faith in Christianity is fading, only to be superseded by Islam.
Religious differences aside, what is really driving the growing resentment from Europe’s citizens is the massive drain on the economy. A significant percentage of immigrants spend their entire life on the dole, raising large families who also depend on the state for support. Europeans are fed up with the never ending tax increases needed to re-enforce the institutions of multiculturalism and subsidize growing immigrant populations.
Although many Europeans are becoming disenchanted with the situation, the leftists and progressives of Europe still worship at the altar of open borders. Recently, one particular case provoked Europe’s liberal elite into a feeding frenzy of outrage; the legal deportation of a 15-year-old student and her family from France.
To describe the case and the ensuing uproar, The Inquisitr invited our friend and contributor, Nidra Poller, to bring us up-to-date on the chaos and confusion from Paris. After you finish reading her astonishing report, you may never look at immigration in the same way again.
French Surrender At Mitrovica
By Nidra Poller
Paris October 21, 2013 – When a boat overloaded with illegal immigrants sinks off the coast of Lampedusa, drowning hundreds, French media call it a “drame de l’immigration” This week they produced the melodrama of immigration, a comic opera starring Leonarda, a 15 year-old plucked out of a school bus, thrown into a police car, whisked off to the airport with her mother and five siblings, pushed into an airplane, and dumped out in Kosovo. Her classmates were sobbing, her teachers were indignant, it was the Rafle du Vel d’hiv all over again. Fingers were pointed at Interior Minister Manuel Valls who was on an official mission in the crime-ridden French Caribbean Islands.
How could a Socialist minister condone the heartless treatment of Leonarda? His fellow Socialists and their Far Left allies accused him of pandering to aficionados of the National Front (dubbed anti-immigration, Far Right, and far worse). Valls– like Sarkozy of immigrant origin–was pinned up on the Nazi-lookalikes dart board while Leonarda was packaged as a cross between Joan of Arc and Anne Frank. Her cause filled the screen, obliterating Iran’s nuclear arms race, the U.S. government shut down and open up again, earthquake in the Philippines, typhoon in Japan, bloodshed in Syria, and the national debt.
The image of Leonarda grabbed off of a school bus and abruptly deported to Kosovo provoked indecent comparisons. Esther Benbassa, the grotesque Green Party deputy, shuddered over this replay of the Nazi roundup of French Jews, a tearful classmate wailed “there is an empty seat in the classroom,” and mass media downplayed or outright omitted revelations that might trouble the picture of persecuted Romas. The president’s… um… well… common-law wife, Valerie Trierweiller, scrambled up to the moral high ground: our schools must be sanctuaries, children should not be plucked out for deportation!!! Some 40 lycées were barricaded, the kids spilled into the streets with painted cheeks and slapdash cardboard posters ordering Interior Minister Valls to resign immediately. A 19 year-old Armenian illegal deported after being arrested for pickpocketing was added—now it was an issue of mass deportations–but he didn’t get much press. Leonarda was their gal.
Despite this incredible PR, polls showed a majority, eventually 2/3, against granting asylum to Leonarda and her family.
Reports started beaming in from Mitrovica where the Dibranis were temporarily housed and fed by the Kosovar Interior Ministry. Leonarda grumbled: I don’t even speak the language here! What? She’s forgotten her mother tongue? Whereupon her father, Resat Dibrani, unashamedly admitted he’d destroyed the papers of his common-law wife Gemilja Brami and their five Italian-born children (the sixth, a girl named Medina, was born in France), purchased a fake marriage certificate for €50, and claimed they had fled anti-Roma discrimination in Kosovo. For close to five years the family was fed and housed by the French government while a succession of applications for asylum were rejected, appealed, and again rejected, and deportation orders were ignored and delayed. In a last attempt to avoid deportation, the father slipped out of town in June. But he was caught and put on a plane to Mitrovica on October 8th. In the interests of keeping the family together, the departure of his wife and children was scheduled for the following day.
TV cameras and reporters camp out in front of the Dibrani’s lodgings in Mitrovica as if awaiting the birth of a royal baby. Little pudgy Leonarda struts and jives, clutching her smartphone, speaking a mixture of immigrant pidgin and teenage slang. “I’m sure I’ll go back to France. Because I’m a star.” Her mother, with the toddler Medina on her hip, frowns aggressively at the journalists. Her feisty father is caught on camera in what is obviously his usual debating style, roughing up a slight rooky reporter. The older sister stands a bit off to the side, showing off her figure and smartphoning nonstop. The boys horse around. It’s Reality Show pushed up to prime time news. It’s 21st century media culture gone crazy.
The Interior Minister– the only popular member of a government whose approval rating is sinking like a ship off the coast of Lampedusa–stands his ground and orders a full accounting. Called back from his mission in the Antilles, he receives the report of the Inspection Générale de l’Administration on the 18th of October. It is posted online the next day. Excuse my French but ça alors! You couldn’t ask for a more cause célèbre-deflating tale if you were a million-dollar anti-immigration publicist!
The Dibrani family has been handled with kid gloves since they entered France illegally in 2009 and up until they boarded the flight to Mitrovica. Darlings of the RESF (Réseaux Education sans Frontière, an association that demands asylum for illegals who send their children to school), they were aided and abetted by municipal officials throughout the process of asylum-seeking and after deportation orders were issued and disobeyed. According to the IGAS report, the appeals were rejected because, among other reasons, Resat Dibrani refused to accept job offers, got in fights with the neighbors, parked wrecked cars in front of the building, squabbled with social workers, made no effort to integrate, was twice arrested for theft. His wife recently accused him of beating her and the two older daughters, but rapidly withdrew the complaint. They left their apartment in such bad condition that it has to be renovated before another family of asylum seekers can move in. As far as Leonarda’s fervent desire to continue her schooling in France, she’s missed more than 20 half-days since September, as in previous years.
Now here’s how Leonarda became a cause célèbre. I don’t pretend to know who got the bright idea but…
The bags were packed, the family was ready to go to the airport, well-wishers brought cookies and €1200 in cash for the send-off, but Leonarda was AWOL. Hadn’t slept at home that night. She was finally located in a school bus on a class trip. For which she had signed up the night before. (N.B. the family knew they were scheduled to leave that day.) The IGAS report details the exquisite care taken to bring the bus back to the school (it had just left), have Leonarda, accompanied by a devoted teacher, brought out of sight of her classmates, and then, only after the bus had resumed its journey, taken to the agents that reunited her with her family. This required approximately 35 phone calls. I mention it because the report concluded that no fault had been committed in the deportation decision and application but the frontier police and gendarmes “lacked discernment” in taking the young lady from a school bus.
Should they have asked the airline to delay the flight until the class trip was over that evening? Or perhaps the public purse should have paid to make new reservations for the following day?
As President Hollande solemnly addresses the nation on Saturday October 19th, TV cameras are focused on the Dibranis who are focused on the president who is focused on French citizens, disgruntled voters, angry lycéens, scandalized human rightists, unreliable allies, and a popular Interior Minister he can’t discard and dares not wholeheartedly defend. In his hallmark stiff delivery, the president declares that the République is the law, the law was respected, respect for the law is essential. In the case of Leonarda and her family, everything was done within the law. Law enforcement, however, was a bit out of step in taking Leonarda from the school bus. A decree will be issued clearly defining the sanctuary of the school, extended to the playground, school bus, and extra-curricular activities. The president understands the emotions of the lycéens. The Dibrani hearts are pounding. But we cannot govern by emotions alone. The République is respect for the law, but it is merciful. This is it, the Dibranis are waiting for the happy ending. Sensitive to the feelings of Leonarda, the president concludes, [like a man jumping to his death from the 40th floor] if she so desires she can return to France and complete her schooling. Aha! Their eyes brighten. “But,” he says, “she must come alone.”
The president is left to return to his gilded quarters as all eyes turn to Leonarda. And she badmouths the president of the French Republic as if he were a grouchy teacher. “Back to France without my family? No way! He doesn’t understand our situation at all! He didn’t even look at our file. What does he think we are? Animals?” The family clusters around the sputtering star. “They don’t make laws for me, I’ll make my laws.” The father swears they’ll be back in France in short order; it will take two days and €20,000. A journalist in the studio speaking by phone to Leonarda asks, with utter seriousness: “What does France mean to you?” She has him repeat the question four times before replying: “It’s my life. It’s my life in France.”
That sums it up, you French dopes. Your president is nothing but a high class human trafficker and if he doesn’t get results, stomp his fat face.
And this is how a hyped up asylum-seeker melodrama caused the downfall of François Hollande, the most unlikely French president since the beginning of the 5th Republic, he himself hyped up by the same media that turned a dysfunctional chronically fraudulent family into tinsel heroes for a week. It was no favor to Leonarda and politically fatal for François Hollande. He may stay stick around until the end of his term, but he’s not really president anymore.
The media had almost finished packing up their cameras when the Dibranis were assaulted. Nothing to do with France or asylum: Gemilja Braimi was slapped around by the family of the man she’d abandoned when she ran off with Resat.
Biography Of Nidra Poller:
Nidra Poller, born in 1935 in Jessup, Pennsylvania, is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin and Johns Hopkins University. She has been living in Paris since 1972. Her literary career began with the publication in 1966 of a short story, “Wedding Party in Piazza Navona,” in the review Perspectives. Author of (yet to be published) novels in English and in French, she turned to journalism in 2000. She has published widely in print and online media, including the Wall Street Journal Europe, New English Review, Dispatch International, Middle East Quarterly, American Thinker, Commentary, Jerusalem Post, New York Sun, National Review Online and dozens of other outlets.
Photograph of Nidra Poller by Jiro Mochizuki.
Introduction by Wolff Bachner for The Inquisitr.