The French authorities have deported 32,922 foreign immigrants who entered the country illegally in 2011, Minister Interior, Overseas France, Territorial Administration and Immigration, Claude Gueant, said Tuesday.
“This is a highest number of deportees; it’s exceeds the previous year figure by 5,000,” he said in a press conference here.
France targets pushing the figure up to 35,000 in 2012.
While scaling up the combat against illegal immigration, the French authorities will work for cutting down the number of legal arrivals, the minister revealed.
He added that the residency permits issued in 2011 went down by 3.6 percent and the permits for professionals decreased by 26 percent year-on-year.
In last June Gueant announced tough measures for combating the illegal immigration, an initiative that gained backing from President Nicolas Sarkozy given the rising unemployment rate.