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Protesters ask Macron not to enact French law to regulate immigration

Protesters ask Macron not to enact French law to regulate immigration

Tens of thousands of people marched in cities across the country on Sunday. France to ask the president Emmanuel Macron not to enact a tough new immigration law that, they say, bears the imprint of the far right and betrays French values.

According to the Ministry of the Interior, 75,000 people participated in the marches throughout the country, and 16,000 in Paris. The far-left CGT union estimated the number of protesters nationwide at 150,000.

The timing of the protests was critical, four days before the Constitutional Council decides on Thursday whether all articles of the law β€” approved in December β€” conform to the French Constitution.

The bill strengthens France’s ability to deport foreigners deemed undesirable and makes it more difficult for foreigners to take advantage of social benefits, among other measures.

The protest was called by 200 people from various sectors, including the arts and unions. The law β€œIt was written under the dictate of the merchants of hate who dream of imposing on France their project of ‘national preference’”wrote the signatories of the call for the march.

National preference, according to which French people, not foreigners, should benefit from the country’s riches, has long been the motto of the far-right National Rally party.

Macron backed the law on its tortuous journey through Parliament but, in an unusual turn, has said some articles appear to be unconstitutional. Le Monde newspaper recently quoted an anonymous Interior Ministry official as saying that “a dozen” of articles could be annulled by the Constitutional Council.

Some articles of the law make it more difficult for someone living in France to bring family members to the country; For example, an applicant seeking to reunite with his spouse must demonstrate that he knows the French language. The court is also likely to examine stricter rules for accessing social services and housing, or reinstating a law repealed in 2012 that makes it illegal for a foreigner to be in France without residency documents.

Source: Gestion

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