citizen march against the immigration law, surnamed “darmanin law”, in paris
In Paris, France, many people recently protested against a new law that makes immigration rules stricter. On January 21, 2024, they gathered in Trocadero Square.
Youssouf Doucoure, 25, from Mali, was there too. He feels that French people are kind, but politicians are causing anti-migrant feelings.
France’s Constitutional Council, a top legal body, has rejected parts of this new immigration law. It said the law’s restrictions on welfare for immigrants and bringing their families to France were against the constitution. Doucoure, who works in France using borrowed legal papers, finds support among the protesters.
Across Europe, there’s a growing trend of tougher border control and sending back illegal migrants. In 2023, illegal border crossings in the European Union (EU) hit their highest since the 2015-2016 crisis.
Syrians, Guineans, and Afghans are among the top newcomers. Europe is less welcoming now compared to nearly a decade ago when Germany accepted nearly a million asylum seekers.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, unlike his predecessor Angela Merkel, speaks of needing to deport many migrants without legal rights to stay. His comments came after the far-right Alternative for Germany (AdF) party gained more support.
Other European countries, like Italy and the Netherlands, are also seeing a rise in far-right, anti-immigration parties.
The European Council on Foreign Relations study shows these parties might win big in the upcoming European Parliament elections.
This shift affects French President Emmanuel Macron’s policies. Many French citizens, over 70%, support the stricter immigration law.
The new French law makes it harder to get legal documents and citizenship for immigrants. It also considers undocumented migration a minor offense and demands foreign students pay a deposit to study in France. It can even take away French citizenship from dual nationals convicted of crimes.
Despite the law’s support, there are concerns about its clash with France’s values of welcoming and diversity. People like Doucoure remain hopeful that France will become more open to migrants in the future.