Deportation of French Student

Leonarda Dibrani, a 15 yr old French student, was abruptly taken away from her school field trip by French police officers.  According to the French government, Dibrani and her family were in the country illegally.   The family is now being ordered back to their home of Kosovo.

The WSJ and NY Times covered this occurrence on October 19.  NY Times writer, ALISSA J. RUBIN, wrote: “France Says Deportation of Roma Girl Was Legal.”  WSJ writer, Stacy Meichtry, wrote:” French Sensibilities Stirred by Schoolgirl’s Deportation”. 

During the beginning of the NY Times article, Rubin stresses on the manner in which the deportation was handled.  “The law was perfectly respected, Mr. Hollande said, and there was no fault on the part of the police who stopped the girl. But there was a lack of discernment in the execution of the operation,” he said.”  If this was not the proper way to handle the situation, as stated in the article, then what was the proper way to handle a situation like this?  Instead of repeating the manner of the situation, provide a result.  Additionally, Rubin stated that students and teachers have been protesting against the deportation of Dibrani.  Therefore, the writer should get some quotes from the protesters.  By doing so, the story will reach out to both sides: the French government (for the deportation) and the students (against the deportation).  At first, I didn’t see this story as newsworthy; however, as I read on I realized that this event was unusual for the French government.  Rubin stated that France is typically lenient in regards to illegal immigration; therefore, this recent action was considered highly out of character for the nation.  “France is generous compared with other European countries when it comes to giving asylum to immigrants.”  Rubin briefly stated that refugees have recently the taken advantage of the nation.  “But the French have been frustrated by the large number of impoverished foreigners seeking refuge here and generally have been supportive of the enforcement of immigration laws.”  This statement, in order to support the claim, can be expanded by displaying examples and statistics of the growing immigrant population.

WSJ, as opposed to NY Times, takes on a more political stance.  Meichtry almost characterizes the French president’s stance on the issue as a publicity stunt. “PARIS—President François Hollande on Saturday moved to quell a storm in his political ranks by inviting a 15-year-old student who was recently deported to Kosovo to return to France to finish her studies.”  Like the New York Times article, Meichtry’s article needs quotes from both sides, not just the government.  Meichtry states: “Although student protesters and some Socialist Party leaders have rallied behind Ms. Dibrani, the French public seems to largely support the government’s broader crackdown on immigration.”  Why not obtain a few brief quotes from French citizens who support and oppose the deportation.  I really liked that there was a poll featured within the article: “A poll released Saturday by BVA, a French polling firm, found that 65% of people surveyed opposed allowing Ms. Dibrani to return to France, and 74% approved of how Mr. Valls had handled her deportation. Still, 46% of people polled said they were shocked by the way Ms. Dibrani had been detained.”  This tactic provides a since of additional accuracy and truth to the piece.


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