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France’s Constitutional Council Rejects Controversial Immigration Bill

Fri 26 Jan 2024 | 01:38 PM
Israa Farhan

France's Constitutional Council has rejected significant portions of the immigration law, particularly measures introduced under pressure from the right wing to toughen the proposed government text, causing divisions within President Emmanuel Macron's camp.

A month after its approval in parliament on December 19th, the nine members of the council tasked with reviewing the constitutionality of laws rejected the majority of measures that had sparked significant criticism and protests.

This included cuts to social benefits for non-European foreigners, the establishment of annual migration quotas, and stricter conditions for family reunification.

Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin stated that the Constitutional Council has fully endorsed the government's text, noting that the executive branch had taken note of the rejection of many provisions added by parliament for not respecting proper parliamentary procedures.

The executive branch had anticipated this rejection since several provisions in the text, as acknowledged by Darmanin himself, "clearly violate the constitution."

In contrast, the leader of the far-right National Rally, Jordan Bardella, condemned it as a judicial coup supported by the president, considering that the immigration law was "stillborn."

He called for a referendum on immigration.

The leader of the Republicans party, Éric Ciotti, stated that amendments were "more necessary than ever," while Marine Le Pen, leader of the National Rally parliamentary group in the National Assembly, argued that "only a constitutional amendment allows us to address the core issues of immigration that deeply concern us."