France tightens immigration law

Date: 
April, 2018
Country: 
France

The National Assembly in France has passed new immigration laws that toughen up asylum rules by speeding up the application procedure and making it easier to deport people.

The controversial law has brought widespread criticism from human right defenders and sown rare divisions within French president Emmanuel Macron's own Republic on the Move (LRM) centrist party.

French lawmakers passed the bill 228 votes to 139, with 24 abstentions on Sunday (22 April) following a marathon debate that lasted 61 hours and attracted around 1,000 amendments.

Some 14 members of the LRM party abstained with another voting against the bill. The Senate is now set to debate it in June.

"I am not sure we're sending to world citizens the universal message that has always been ours," said LRM party member Jean-Michel Clement, who voted against the bill, in a statement.

Macron's party introduced the bill in February as part of a wider presidential campaign effort to wrestle support away from defeated far-right and anti-immigrant candidate, Marine Le Pen.

It allows authorities to keep child asylum seekers in detention for up to 90 days as they await deportation.

The tough stace is not unique to France. Hungary keeps children as young as 14 in shipping containers along its border with Serbia.

The French bill also reduces the asylum application filing period from 120 days to 90 days and shortens the deadline to launch appeals from one month to 15 days.

Source: Eu Observer