Proposal divided parties that support Emmanuel Macron’s government; Marine Le Pen called the measure an “ideological victory”
The French Senate and National Assembly approved on Tuesday (Dec 19, 2023) a migration law that establishes tougher rules regarding migration policy in the country.
The proposal, which had the support of President Emmanuel Macron and right-wing parties, received 349 votes in favor and 186 against in the Lower Chamber. In the Upper House, there were 214 votes in favor and 114 against. The text will still be submitted to the Constitutional Council.
One of the main changes in the so-called “Bill to control migration and improve integration”, in free translation, is related to the way in which social benefits are offered to non-EU foreigners, that is, people who are not EU citizens ( European Union).
To receive the aid, the migrant will have to be in France for at least 5 years or 2 and a half years (30 months) if they have a job. Previously, the rule established a minimum presence of 6 months. The new measure does not apply to foreign students, refugees or those with a residence permit.
The law also establishes that foreigners residing in France can only bring family members to live in the country if they have been in the territory for at least 2 years (24 months). It also determines reforms in the concept of jus soli (soil rights, in free translation).
Until now, children of foreigners born in France automatically obtained French nationality upon turning 18. Now, they will have to request it when they are 16 to 18 years old.
The text also limits the number of migrant workers to 10,000 per year. The automatic right to work for asylum seekers will also be revoked.
The approval of the law divided the parties that were part of the Juntos coalition in the 2022 legislative elections. The group was led by Renaissance, Macron’s party, previously known as The Republic on the March!. The acronyms MoDem, Agir and Horizons were also included.
Of the 170 members of the Renaissance, 20 did not support the measure and 17 abstained from the National Assembly vote. In the Democrats group (MoDem and Independents), with 51 members, 30 deputies were in favor, while 5 were against and 15 abstained. In the Horizons and related group (30 members), there were 28 votes in favor and 2 against. Furthermore, Health Minister Aurélien Rousseau resigned in protest against the law.
Marine Le Pen’s right-wing National Regroupment party was in favor of the project (all 88 members of the party in the National Assembly voted in favor). Le Pen called the approval “ideological victory”, according to the The world. The 62 deputies of the right-wing Republican party also unanimously approved the initiative.
In an interview with the program “C to you“do canal France 5, this Wednesday (Dec 20), Macron stated that France has a “migration problem”therefore, the law was necessary to reduce illegal migration and facilitate the integration of documented displacements. “It’s a shield we needed”these.
He also denied that the law is close to the ideology of National Regroupment. He said that to prevent the “extreme right” be elected to the government, it is necessary “deal with the problems they feed on”.