France passes tough immigration bill amid Macron party revolt | Migration news

The new law includes amendments to citizenship and citizenship that have won the approval of the far-right.

The French parliament has passed an immigration bill backed by President Emmanuel Macron by a wide margin, after a revolt within his party over a draconian law endorsed by the far-right.

The bill has been significantly toughened since it was first introduced, with some on the left of Macron’s ruling Renaissance party accusing his government of acquiescing in an attempt to win support from Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Rally (RN).

Home Secretary Gerald Dorman, an ambitious 41-year-old who spearheaded the legislation, expressed comfort that the votes of his coalition and the Conservatives were enough to get the bill through parliament.

349 members voted in favor and 186 members voted against. The upper house has already passed the law.

“Today, drastic measures are necessary,” Dharmanin said later. “You can fix the problems of the French in other parts of the country, not by holding your nose in central Paris.”

An earlier version of the bill was voted through without debate in the National Assembly, a major blow to Macron.

Pressure from the right led the government to agree to water down regulations on residency permits, while welfare benefits for immigrants – including children and housing – were delayed for years.

The amendments introduce migration quotas, make it harder for children of immigrants to become French, and say that dual citizens convicted of serious crimes against the police can be stripped of their French citizenship.

Le Pen had said the RN would approve the amended law – causing embarrassment among left-wing members of Macron’s party.

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In the end, 20 members of Renaissance voted against the bill, 17 abstained and 131 voted in favor.

After the vote, Le Pen called it an “ideological victory”.

The French have long prided themselves on having one of the most generous welfare systems in the world, even paying foreigners to help pay rent or support their children with monthly contributions of up to a few hundred euros.

The extreme right and, more recently, the conservatives have argued that these should be reserved for the French people.

Macron had made the migration bill a key project of his second mandate and could have shelved it without compromise.

Dozens of NGOs condemned the law ahead of the vote.

“This is the most regressive bill in the last 40 years for the rights and living conditions of foreigners, including those who have been in France for a long time,” said a joint statement by about 50 groups, including the French Human Rights League.

“With this speech, directly inspired by anti-immigration RN pamphlets, we are facing a change in the history of the Republic and its fundamental values,” said Fabian Roussel, head of the French Communist Party.

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