Pierre Georges Bonnefil Provides Commentary in “Many French Would Be Affected by the Immigration Reform”

France Amérique

Pierre Georges Bonnefil, Member of the Firm, provides commentary in France Amérique, in “Many French Would Be Affected by the Immigration Reform,” by Gaetan Mathieu. The article discusses President Obama’s executive order concerning immigration and the effect on French immigrants illegally residing in the United States.

Following is an excerpt:

“The profile of the illegal French is quite varied. They have in common the idea of the adventure, of the American dream”, notes Pierre Georges Bonnefil, a lawyer who for the past ten years has been holding monthly immigration consultations at the Consulate of France in New York. In 2013, 78 French were expelled from the United States; 46 of them because they did not possess valid visas. The 32 remaining were expelled for "criminal" reasons. 609 illegal French are also returned voluntarily to France at their own expense. This is usually done in order to avoid prosecution and a possible a 10 year ban.

Pierre Georges Bonnefil notes an increase in the number of young French nationals coming to the United States with a tourist visa (ESTA) and who decide to remain in American territory beyond the statutory three months. “‘ESTA’ allows them to easily enter the U.S. territory. Some French take advantage to settle because they love the country. Others because they want to invest money, since they feel freer here.” But, very quickly, these French nationals get disenchanted and find that without a valid visa, the doors are closed. Without a social security number, it is difficult, even impossible, according to the different states, to open a bank account, to find an accommodation, or obtain a license. “Some return to France, others remain because they know that in New York for example, they can always find odd jobs that pay cash,” notes Pierre Georges Bonnefil.