DNA Testing Immigrants Stirs Outrage

French proposal brings back nasty Vichy memories
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 11, 2007 7:54 PM CDT
French President Nicolas Sarkozy (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – A proposal to test the DNA of prospective immigrants to France has provoked outrage and raised painful memories of Nazi collaboration. The tests would verify that would-be immigrants have blood relatives in France, but politicians and thinkers from across the political spectrum have rushed to condemn the initiative. “I am going to ask everyone to calm down," President Nicolas Sarkozy says.

Fadela Amara—secretary of state for urban affairs and the daughter of Algerian immigrants—has threatened to resign over the measure, the New York Times reports. Some took the absence of fanfare (and Sarkozy) at the inauguration of an immigration museum in Paris yesterday as another insult to French immigrants. Sarkozy himself is the son of a Hungarian immigrant to France.