Down in polls, France’s Le Pen targets immigration for boost

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Far-right candidate Marine Le Pen sought on Tuesday to turn the debate in the final week of France’s presidential election to immigration as she looked to reverse a dip in polls.

Surveys of voting intentions have for months shown Le Pen and centrist Emmanuel Macron qualifying on Sunday for the May 7 run-off, but the National Front leader has been under pressure since the start of April as conservative Francois Fillon and far-leftist Jean-Luc Melenchon close the gap on the favorites, reports Reuters.

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Speaking to a rally in Paris on Monday she vowed to suspend all immigration with an immediate moratorium, shield voters from globalization and strengthen security, subjects that have won her core backing and that she hopes can give her boost with about 30 percent of voters still undecided.

“For several weeks, we will need to assess the situation. The reality is that immigration is massive in our country and that migration flood that we are experiencing is not a fantasy,” Le Pen told RTL radio on Tuesday – fleshing out details of the moratorium announcement.

The measure has not been part of her program, although she has put on record that she wants to limit annual immigration to just 10,000 people a year.

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