Macron looks to crack down on illegal immigration with new law

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French President Emmanuel Macron is set to make a second attempt to step up deportations of illegal immigrants under fierce pressure from his far-right opponents.

Macron’s centrist government reveals outlines of a new draft immigration Tuesday’s legislation will be formally debated in parliament in early 2023.

It comes just four years after a 2018 law with similar goals, passed during Macron’s first term, also aimed to cool down a booming political issue.

“It’s about better integration and better expulsion,” by Macron hardline interior minister, Gerald Darmanintold France Info radio on Tuesday about the new proposals.

“We want workers, not looters.”

Prime minister Elisabeth Borne opened the debate in the French National Assembly by saying the law would allow France to “speak who we want” and “who we don’t want” to allow permanent entry into France. “Non-immigrant is neither desirable nor improbable, and it is more impractical than unregulated immigration,” she said.

Darmanin and Macron have linked immigration to crime in recent weeks, both saying that about half of all petty crimes in Paris are committed by foreigners.

Speaking to the Parisien newspaper over the weekend, Macron introduced the new law as a means to tackle the historic rise of the far right. National rallyin June became the largest opposition party in parliament.

“We need a firm and humane policy that aligns with our values,” said the 44-year-old. “It’s the best antidote to anxiety-inducing extremes.”

Figures from the interior ministry show France currently deporting about 10 percent of migrants who have been ordered to leave the country and the rate has never been higher than 20 percent.

‘Nothing changes’

The country’s lengthy legal appeals process, procedural delays and lack of state resources are cited as reasons for the low eviction rate, which Darmanin has pledged to increase.

Like many European countries, France has had difficulty convincing countries in North and West Africa to take back their citizens after they were subject to deportation orders.

France’s far-right leader Marine Le Pen, who won 41% in the second round of presidential elections in April, has frequently accused the government of laxity and “swallowing” France in the hands of foreigners.

In her third presidential run this year, she proposed changing the constitution through a referendum to set strict immigration targets and ensure French people take precedence over foreigners. in all state services.

“I don’t expect anything (from the new law),” she said on Tuesday. “They’ll talk to us again about balancing solidity and humanity. We’ve heard that for decades.

“Nothing will change… immigration in our country is completely out of control.”

The brutal murder of a 12-year-old schoolgirl in Paris in October has shocked public opinion. major political scandal after it emerged that her killer was an Algerian woman who was ordered to leave the country.

The chaotic management of 234 migrants and asylum seekers who landed in France in November on a charity rescue ship Viking Ocean has also confused the government.

Although the Interior Ministry initially said most adults had been denied entry to France, only a few were detained after they applied for asylum and appealed in court.

Legal migration path

The new draft law co-drafted by Darmanin would reduce the number of possible appeals for unsuccessful asylum seekers from 12 to three and would in theory speed up deportation proceedings.

It would also remove protections for foreigners who came to France as children, making it easier to deport them if they are found guilty – a measure designed to tackle children who commit crimes. .

And there will be measures to issue work permits to foreign workers with the necessary skills in specific sectors of the economy, which could include many illegally employed in the home sector. row.

Mr Macron’s MPs are in a minority in parliament, meaning the bill will need support from the right-wing opposition Republicans, which have criticized the proposals as too weak.

Senior MP Pierre-Henri Dumont told reporters: “There is a red line in what we know about this bill, which is the massive legalization of illegal workers in sectors. not enough people”.

France has passed 29 different immigration laws since 1980.

People from 15 different charities and several left-wing MPs protested in parliament on Tuesday to denounce what they called the government’s “hostile” attitude towards migrants.

Nearly eight in 10 French people think Macron’s government has failed to control immigration, according to a poll by the CSA survey group published by CNews channel last month.

About 7 out of 10 people think there are too many foreigners in France, according to multiple polls this year.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)


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