Posted on February 21, 2018

France Proposes Tougher Law on Migrants

William Horobin, Wall Street Journal, February 21, 2018

France’s government presented a bill Wednesday to toughen immigration and asylum laws by doubling the time migrants can be detained, strengthening police powers to search them, and shortening the time migrants have to appeal rejected asylum claims.

The proposed measures have angered some lawmakers from President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist République en Marche group in the National Assembly, which until now has unflinchingly backed the president’s policies. {snip}


Presenting the bill Wednesday, the government said the changes to immigration and asylum laws were in line with Mr. Macron’s election promises. Along with allowing migrants to be detained for up to 90 days and giving police greater powers to fingerprint them, the bill also foresees simplifying and speeding up processes for asylum demands, and expanding programs to welcome foreign students, researchers and entrepreneurs. Interior minister Gérard Collomb said the new law would also increase language training and help accepted asylum seekers find work.


The interior minister also defended the more punitive aspects of the bill, saying France faces a surge in migrants fleeing economic difficulties and conflicts in Syria and sub-Saharan Africa. In 2017, 100,000 people requested asylum in France — a 17% increase from 2016 — and another 85,000 were turned away at the country’s borders.