Macron’s Plan on Migrants: Deport More, Give Others Legal Status

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“We need to be able to take in those who deserve asylum more quickly and more quickly to refuse those who cannot get it on our soil,” Gérald Darmanin, Macron’s hardline interior minister, said on Tuesday.

A collective of aid organizations, including Amnesty International, denounced in a pronunciation what they saw as measures that “risk further erode the rights of foreigners”, such as the right to asylum and to a fair trial, and could lead to “aggravating the precariousness” of asylum seekers.

That insecurity has been going on for several days in the center of Paris, near the Louvre, where dozens of young migrants have set up tents in the freezing cold to demand that they be recognized as unaccompanied minors and be offered asylum.

François Héran, a leading expert on migration who teaches at the Collège de France, said France has issued “far too many removal orders”, more than it can enforce, including on migrants who are working and well integrated.

According to the Senate report, the number of orders issued has doubled over the past decade to 122,000 in 2019, the same level as “Greece, Spain and Italy combined, which have at least comparable migratory pressures”.

Mr Héran added that the law illustrated what he says is France’s refusal to accept that rising immigration is now a global phenomenon affecting all Western countries. “The current debate is completely out of touch with reality,” he said.

In an effort to balance stricter admission rules with better settlement conditions, the government also announced its intention to introduce renewable one-year residence permits for undocumented migrants already in France who want to work in sectors with a shortage of personnel, such as the catering industry.