Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE DEBATE

Iran Under Pressure: Tehran Vows Retaliation After Ahvaz Attack

Read more

FOCUS

Germany: Where providing information on abortion remains a crime

Read more

ENCORE!

Music show: ‘Big Brothers’ Winston McAnuff & Fixi

Read more

IN THE PRESS

'Back from golfing dead': Tiger Woods overcomes pain and scandal to win first tour in 5 years

Read more

PERSPECTIVE

Julien Brave NoiseCat: ‘Pipelines a real threat to First Nations’ way of life’

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

Austrian government spokesman: ‘Still possible to agree on Brexit deal before end of October’

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

Playing fair and paying fair: Copyright law gets an internet-age overhaul

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

US, China impose new tariffs on each other's goods

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Tanzania’s president orders arrests over Lake Victoria ferry disaster

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)