April 23, 2018

France’s National Assembly passes tougher immigration law

The National Assembly of France (the lower house of the Parliament of France) passes the new immigration law toughening the asylum rules, Le Figaro informs. 

The bill shortens asylum application terms, doubles the time for which illegal migrants can be detained and introduces one-year imprisonment for entering France inllegally. 

The document was submitted by Emmanuel Macron’s governing party LaREM expecting that the bill would speed up the process of claiming asylum. 

However, the document caused serious debates in the Parliament, which continued throughout the weekend. Eventually, the bill was passed by 228 votes to 139, with 24 abstentions. One of the members of Mr. Macron’s party Jean-Michel Clément voted against the document and declared on Sunday evening that he left the LaREM group. 

One of the stumbling blocks in the document is an article, which doubles the time for which foreigners can be detained expecting for deportation from 45 to 90 days. French Government planned to extend this period up to 135 days. 

The opposition stated that this article could turn detention into the real arrest. One of the members of opposition stated that based on this article, migrants are sent to prisons like some criminals. 

The bill also indicates that foreign minors should be also detained together with their families. Nevertheless, the Government promised to set up a working group to amend this regulation. 

The document is now passed to the upper house of the Parliament. It is expected that it will be considered in June there.