Outrage in France as Macron's new controversial immigration law sees the light of day
Macron has prioritized immigration for his second term. The new law simplifies several procedures, including the deportation of foreigners convicted of crimes and the reform of the asylum system. Work on the law project titled "On Immigration Control and Improving Integration" was postponed multiple times, mainly due to social unrest.
Although the law is deemed one of Macron's most critical reforms for his second term, part of his camp resisted a stricter version; about a quarter of his allies in parliament voted against it or abstained.
The law's announcement followed the French Constitutional Council's condemnation of 35 of its 86 articles, inclusive of contentious additions advocated by the right — measures limiting access to social benefits and introducing immigration quotas.
Furthermore, the law includes an article on the legalization of undocumented workers in industries plagued by shortages. The final text upheld by the Council retains most government-desired elements, with a significant part dedicated to streamlining procedures for deporting foreign criminals, a goal of Interior Minister Gerard Darmanin.
Darmanin, who previously stated that some solutions are "clearly contrary to the constitution," described the Council's verdict as a government victory.
After the Constitutional Council's decision, Macron instructed Darmanin to do "everything in his power" to "implement the immigration law as quickly as possible," as reported to AFP by a member of the president's team.
The law has provoked controversies. Outrage is vented from both the right and the left.
Jordan Bardella, Chairman of the far-right party National Rally, in a post on X, labeled the new law "a coup d'etat perpetrated by judges, with the president's support." The politician has also called for an immigration referendum.
Meanwhile, Eric Ciotti, the leader of the French Republicans, accused the council of conspiring with Macron against the "will of the French people, who want less immigration." Manuel Bompard, the head of the far-left party Unbowed France (LFI), also appealed for the law to be withdrawn, stating that "the text approved by the Constitutional Council corresponds to the text rejected by the Assembly" and hence "has no legitimacy."