The letter is addressed directly to Emmanuel Macron. In a two-page missive sent to the Élysée Palace on Tuesday, the content of which Le Figaro reveals on Wednesday, Éric Ciotti, president of the Republicans Bruno Retailleau and Olivier Marleix, group presidents in the Assembly and the Senate, urge the President of the Republic to use the referendum to initiate a reform of French migration policy. They ask him to rely on a consultation of the French by referendum to control an immigration that they consider "out of control".
“The voice of the French must be heard and respected. It must resonate with strength and clarity. And, tomorrow, it will become a model for all of Europe,” write the three right-wing parliamentarians. “Only you can convince your majority not to shirk this historic responsibility. And you alone are vested with the power to call on the people to solemnly demonstrate their sovereignty in a referendum,” the three elected officials said.
To support their request, the LR tenors refer to the constitutional framework and make an inventory of immigration in France. They begin by evoking article 3 of the Constitution (national sovereignty belongs to the people who exercise it through their representatives and by referendum) to judge the time to apply "faithfully both the letter and the spirit of the institutions", fixed by the Constitution of 1958. "Such was the vision of the founder of our Republic, General de Gaulle, who consulted the French five times on the major issues of the time", they recall.
The three signatories, who unveiled the content of their two bills (constitutional and ordinary) last Sunday, believe that "only" the "paths of article 89" allow the organization of a referendum on immigration. "For our revision proposal to succeed, it must be voted on in identical terms by both chambers of Parliament, before the President of the Republic decides to submit his ratification not to Congress but to the people", they explain, before d insist on the importance of this consultation: "Let us give the French people, lovers of sovereignty, who do not accept that the freedom and integrity of their Nation be abandoned, the opportunity to proclaim their will on such an essential question than that of mastering one's destiny".
By urging Emmanuel Macron to act, the right seeks to expand its offensive on the migration issue while the majority is divided on this burning issue. Tuesday evening, the President of the Republicans flew to Denmark with an LR delegation to assess certain measures which it considers effective and sovereign. By multiplying the initiatives, she wants to strike the iron when it is hot and try to take the leadership on what she perceives as an absolute urgency.
Moreover, in this letter sent to the Élysée, Ciotti, Retailleau and Marleix do not hesitate to paint an alarming picture. They point to an "out of control immigration" overwhelming France, the danger of future migratory "waves", the risks of "chaos of division" and "violence", the "continuous increase in legal entries" (almost 500,000 foreigners arrived in France in 2022), the "explosion" of illegal immigration, the "tireless repetition of offenses and crimes committed by foreigners" (80% of those questioned for theft with violence in Ile-de-France transport), the worrying prospect of “climatic migrations” coming from Africa… A general degradation according to them in the face of which it is urgent to react. "We can't hope for any improvement if we don't act firmly today," thundered the three parliamentarians.
With two texts described as "breaking" and the organization of a referendum, Les Républicains believe they have the means to overcome all the obstacles standing in the way of effective reform. A reform "worthy of the challenges we face" and able to demonstrate "that we must not resign ourselves to any fatality when we are a free people", underline the three LR officials.