French MPs have voted to impose punitive fines on prostitutes' customers as part of a controversial new law going through parliament aimed at helping sex workers throw off the shackles of pimps and organised criminal gangs.
The measure, part of an anti-sex-trade bill, was approved by a show of hands in the Assemblée Nationale in the early hours of Saturday.
If the rest of the law is approved, customers of prostitutes will face a fine of €1,500 for a first "contravention", rising to €3,750 for subsequent offences, which will be considered crimes.
The proposals, introduced under a private members' bill, shift the criminal responsibility away from the estimated 40,000 prostitutes in France and on to their clients. Prostitution is legal in France, but soliciting, pimping and selling underage sex are not.
France's Socialist government introduced the legislation after examining a similar law in Sweden passed in 1999, which supporters claim has reduced the level of prostitution in the country by half.
~ from French MPs Vote to Impose Fines on Prostitutes' Customers by Kim Willsher ~
Personally, I think the act of prostitution should be legal between consenting adults, so I don't favor laws that seek to target prostitutes OR their clients. But this post isn't about prostitution anyway; it's about illegal immigration.
In the US, we don't go after the clientele of "illegal" aliens -- the corporations who enrich themselves on the backs of the immigrants. If we were serious about ending the flow of illegal immigration -- I submit that our political leaders aren't all that serious -- this is the tack to be taken. If we hammered those who hire illegal immigrants -- massive fines and/or jail time -- the market for those kinds of workers would dry up rather quickly.
But illegal immigration is vital to our national economy. Get rid of all the migrant workers and you can flush any economic prosperity goodbye. This is why we punish the "prostitute" and not the "john". It makes it appear as if something is being done about the "problem" when, in fact, almost nothing is being done.