Far-right French leader Jean-Marie Le Pen said Tuesday that his push for "zero immigration" would be one of the central themes of his presidential campaign.
During a visit to the central Auvergne region, Le Pen criticized the immigration policies of other candidates in France's spring election center-right Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy and Socialist lawmaker Segolene Royal.
"I think what we need now is zero immigration in any case, for immigration that comes from outside of Europe, and even from Europe," said 78-year-old Le Pen, who has been convicted numerous times for racist and anti-Semitic comments.
Le Pen also said that France should change its laws so that anyone who comes to France as an illegal immigrant can never win French nationality.
Le Pen is looking to repeat his performance in the 2002 election. That year, his first-round success allowed him to face off against President Jacques Chirac in the runoff vote, shocking the nation. Horrified voters rallied together in the second round to give Chirac a resounding 82 percent, reports AP.
If elected, Le Pen has pledged to pull France from the European Union and NATO, outlaw abortions and restore the death penalty.