Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

#THE 51%

For her pleasure: Is 'feminist porn' a contradiction?

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Paris Saint-Germain football club opens new hub in Shanghai

Read more

PERSPECTIVE

'Europe has become the world’s largest exporter of ivory'

Read more

IN THE PRESS

A reflection of our times: More women, more young people in Time 100 list for 2018

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Commonwealth summit: African members seek to grow trade value to $2 trillion

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Macron makes Time 100 list as France revolts

Read more

THE DEBATE

Turkey's rush to the polls: Erdogan calls snap election to cement his power

Read more

THE POLITICAL BRIEF

France's Macron likens divisions within EU to 'civil war'

Read more

ENCORE!

Sting and Shaggy on making musical magic together

Read more

France

Macron’s asylum bill provokes unprecedented opposition within his own party

© Philippe Wojazer, AFP | 200 of the proposed amendments have been from Macron's own LREM lawmakers.

Video by Ellen GAINSFORD

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2018-04-16

Debate starts Monday in the French parliament on President Emmanuel Macron’s controversial immigration and asylum bill, which has divided his party, La République En Marche (LREM), like never before.

More than one thousand amendments have been proposed – with a record 200 of them from Macron’s own LREM lawmakers. Macron’s party is by far the largest party in France’s National Assembly, the lower house of parliament.

The bill is controversial in part because it would allow the children of failed asylum seekers to be detained before being expelled and for people to be prosecuted for helping illegal immigrants enter or stay in France.

In an interview with French radio RFL on Monday, Christophe Castaner, Macron’s minister in charge of relations between the executive and legislature, said opponents of the bill “lack solidarity”. He also appeared to suggest that even amending the law would be a betrayal of Macron, saying: “This legislation follows Macron’s philosophy, and I don’t think [LREM lawmakers] can ignore the platform on which they were elected.”

Richard Ferrand, parliamentary leader of the party, called 20 of the bill’s opponents to order at a preliminary meeting of LREM lawmakers to discuss the legislation on Tuesday. According to French daily “Le Monde”, Ferrand exclaimed: “You can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs, and if an omelette needs breaking – I’ll do it!”

For his part, Macron said in a wide-ranging interview with French news networks BFMTV and Mediapart on Sunday that the bill is necessary because, “Europe is facing an unprecedented wave of migration and will continue to do so”.

The president justified the proposed detention of children of failed asylum seekers by arguing that, “otherwise, you can’t expel any family”. Expulsions are often delayed for several months; during this delay, failed asylum seekers are detained to prevent them from escaping and staying in the country.

He defended the prosecution of those who help illegal immigrants by saying that, “people who save lives as a humanitarian act shouldn’t be prosecuted – but I’m not going to let off people who, intentionally or not, help human traffickers”.

The National Assembly is due to vote on the bill on Friday.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)

Date created : 2018-04-16

  • ITALY-FRANCE

    Italy at odds with France over incident at border town train station

    Read more

  • UK-FRANCE

    'Sandhurst Treaty': Britain and France agree new deal on border security

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    France will never allow another 'Jungle' here, says Macron in Calais

    Read more

COMMENT(S)