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France’s government and conservative lawmakers find compromise on immigration bill – Times of India


PARIS: Parliament members from French president Emmanuel Macron’s centrist majority and a conservative party have found agreement on a divisive immigration bill that is intended to strengthen France’s ability to deport foreignersconsidered undesirable, the country’s interior minister said Tuesday. Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin, who championed the bill, praised “an important text which will protect the French” but also allow 7,000 to 10,000 undocumented migrant workers a year to get residency permits and fill jobs in sectors that have difficulty hiring.
“We will at last be able to expel foreign offenders of our territory but also integrate all those who work in our restaurants, in the agriculture sector,” Darmanin said.
Conservative lawmaker Eric Ciotti, president of The Republicans party, said the compromise text features provisions to reduce the number of migrants coming to France, notably by limiting foreigners’ access to social benefits.
Macron’s centrist government doesn’t have a majority in parliament, and opposition lawmakers last week rejected the bill without debating it in the lower house, the National Assembly. In turn, the government sought a compromise with Republicans lawmakers, who pushed for a hard-line approach.
Many saw the negotiations as a sign of a shift to the right by Macron’s government.
A commission composed of seven senators and seven lawmakers from the National Assembly formally approved the revised legislation. It requires approval from both houses of parliament, and a vote was scheduled for late Tuesday.
Far-right lawmaker Marine Le Pen said her National Rally party would vote for the bill. She described the legislation as an “ideological victory” because it includes measures promoted by her party. It’s a “very small step, much remains to be done,” Le Pen added.
Advocacy organisations have criticised the bill as a threat to the rights of migrants.
Amnesty International France said on X, formerly known as Twitter, that “all conditions are met for a law that is more detrimental than ever to the rights of people living in exile”.
A statement signed by over 40 French groups that advocate for migrants’ rights urged lawmakers to reject the bill, which they said “flouts fundamental rights”.


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