Friday, January 12, 2018

France: Liberals up-in-arms over Macron’s asylum law reform

(Paris) French liberals have gone on the war path over French President Emmanuel Macron plans to tighten immigration law as the number of asylum seekers soars, with aid and emergency agencies accusing his government of planning mass expulsions.To his credit , Macron sent Prime Minister Edouard Philippe to meet and defuse the situation with aid organisations on Thursday and explain legislation due to go in coming weeks to parliament where his Republique En Marche group has an absolute majority.

However they aren't having any of that, the Secours Catholique charity denounced the policy plans -- which will clarify when migrants must be returned to their countries of origin -- as a simplistic and backward step. And that the new law would trigger the expulsion of anyone not classified as a war refugee in the strictest sense, meaning scores of people in dire need or danger would be forced out.
Another charity said it planned to boycott the meeting with Philippe.
With the number of people filing asylum requests in France hitting a record in 2017, topping 100,000. Macron, elected in May after a duel with Marine Le Pen, the head of the anti-immigrant National Front, has promised to speed up processing asylum requests while also ensuring that those who do not qualify are dealt with more firmly. Currently, just four percent of people refused asylum are expelled.

The new legislation will see the time required for the asylum seeker to file his case reduced from 120 days to 90 and if that is refused, he will have 14 days to lodge an appeal which has been reduced from 4 weeks.