france’s immigration bill is a blow to migrants’ rights
The lawmakers in France, a country in Western Europe, have examined a draft immigration law that threatens the rights of asylum seekers and migrants. France’s immigration bill is expected to move to the National Assembly, the lower house of the bicameral French Parliament, in December. If passed, the law can threaten the rights of migrants living in France.
The controversial bill, entitled “Controlling immigration while improving integration”, is a huge blow to migrant’s rights. Human Rights Watch has said in a report titled, “France: Immigration Bill Threatens Rights”, that the draft immigration law can limit rights of asylum seekers and migrants.
France’s immigration bill is a blow to migrants’ rights
Eva Cossé — a senior researcher at HRW, who works on a wide range of human rights issues with a focus on migration, asylum and minority rights, particularly in Greece and France — has slammed the draft immigration law of France.
Eva Cossé said, “The French authorities are trying again to put forward a deeply flawed set of immigration measures. Dividing families and watering down rights for asylum seekers is not the answer to the country’s security concerns.”
France’s immigration bill can weaken existing protections provided to migrants in France. Under the bill, France can forcibly remove migrants. If migrants do not comply with “the principles of the Republic”, then the authorities can refuse to renew a residence permit for them. An expulsion order can also be issued against a foreign national living irregularly in France.
The French Defender of Rights has also criticized the bill. The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has also condemned the bill, saying that weakening protections on the expulsion and removal of foreign nationals is likely to conflict with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. The draft law also fails to eradicate abusive migration policies.
However, the French authorities said it was important to remove foreign nationals deemed a threat for the country.
Migrant crisis in France
Migrants often face harassment by the police and restrictions on access to humanitarian assistance, particularly in northern France.
The French Parliament is currently focused on a heated debate concerning a draft migration law. The law, which aims to resolve migration issues, is actually a problem for migrants in France.
In recent months, thousands of people, including many undocumented and irregular migrants, marched in Paris and other French towns, protesting the immigration bill.