Sun. Mar 3rd, 2024

Law on immigration in France: resignation of a minister

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The French Minister of Health and Prevention, Aurélien Rousseau, resigned following the vote of deputies on the immigration bill on Tuesday.

Agence France-Presse

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The adoption of a controversial immigration bill in France, whose measures are claimed as “an ideological victory” by the far right, is causing a serious political crisis within the presidential majority of Emmanuel Macron, a minister having resigned.

Epilogue of several months of a tense legislative series, Parliament definitively validated on Tuesday evening the law on immigration, clearly toughening the conditions for welcoming foreigners in France, to the satisfaction of the right and the extreme right of Marine Le Pen, who sees it as a ideological victory.

The text, largely approved in the Senate, was adopted in the Assembly by 349 votes for and 186 against out of 573 voters at the end of the evening, with the voices of the right and the extreme right (notably the National Rally). However, 59 MPs from the majority voted against or abstained.

If the majority is experiencing a rather painful moment, according to the President of the National Assembly Yaël Braun-Pivet, the government spokesperson Olivier Véran denied any ministerial rebellion while confirming the resignation of the Minister of Health Aurélien Rousseau, unfavorable to the bill.

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The President of the National Assembly, Yael Braun-Pivet, at the National Assembly in Paris, in November (Photo archives)

Other departures could follow. On Tuesday, sources told AFP that several ministers had put their resignation in the balance in the event of a vote on the text.

The executive for its part insisted that it would have passed even without the votes of the National Rally – if its deputies had abstained. The Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin, also welcomed the adoption of a strong and firm text, for the protection of the French and for the regularization of workers without papers.

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The project However, the law would not have been approved if the deputies of the National Rally had voted against, underline opposition and political commentators.

I am deeply humanist, I ensured that this text respects our values, defended Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne Wednesday morning on France Inter.

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French Prime Minister, Elisabeth Borne, and Minister Delegate for Relations with Parliament, Franck Riester, at the National Assembly before the vote on the immigration bill, Tuesday.

She at the same time recognized that some of the measures were probably unconstitutional and that the text would have to evolve after the examination of the Constitutional Council, which will be seized this Wednesday by the President of the Republic, according to the spokesperson for the government.

On the grill, the Prime Minister strived to ensure that there is no crisis within its majority, although several ministers from the left wing of Macronie threatened to resign if the text was adopted.

President Macron, who had made this text a test of his ability to reform until the end of his second term, will speak in a television program on Wednesday at the end of the day.

Re-elected in 2022 ahead of Marine Le Pen with the promise of blocking the extreme right, the president will have to respond to criticism from those who oppose him. accuse of having shattered the Republican front.

This story will leave deep traces, Emmanuel Macron has lost on all counts, estimates Wednesday Le Figaro (newspaper which tends to the right) in its editorial. The left-wing daily Libération, for its part, mentioned the Republican affront. As for the front page ofL'Humanité (a rather communist newspaper), it denounces a tainted Republic.

The text – the 30th on immigration in four decades – was intended to be a marker at the same time dear to Emmanuel Macron, with on one side a repressive aspect on the expulsion of foreigners in an illegal situation and , on the other, the promise to regularize certain workers in professions in shortage.

However, due to lack of an absolute majority in the assembly, it was considerably tightened to secure the votes of right-wing deputies: the payment of social benefits was restricted, migration quotas established, automaticity of land law called into question, an offense of illegal residence reinstated… Measures welcomed by the National Rally, which sees in them the consecration of its ideological pillar, the national priority.

Eric Ciotti, the president of the Republicans, a party whose ideas are increasingly close to those of the extreme right, for his part hailed a historic victory for the right.

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Olivier Marleix, deputy and president of the parliamentary group of the Les Républicains party, and deputy Eric Ciotti in the National Assembly, Tuesday.

L' Left opposition castigated the text, with the president of the socialist deputies Boris Vallaud accusing the government of giving in to the most rancid ideas. The leader of the radical left, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, denounced a sickening victory.

A recurring subject in France, as elsewhere in Europe, the ;immigration regularly ignites the political class. A very controversial reform on the subject was also the subject of an agreement on Wednesday in Brussels.

France has 5.1 million legal foreigners, or 7.6% of the population. It hosts more than half a million refugees. The authorities estimate that there are 600,000 to 700,000 illegal immigrants.

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