Paris – The French Constitutional Council yesterday annulled the most controversial measures of President Emmanuel Macron’s immigration reform, including the establishment of quotas by Parliament, the limitation of family reunification and the creation of a crime of “irregular stay.”
“The Constitutional Council censures 32 articles of ‘the law to control immigration, improve integration’, which had 86,” announced the high court, which also modified five other articles of this reform, whose approval generated a serious crisis in the officialdom.
The nine “Wise Men”, as the members of the court are known, removed the restrictions imposed on family reunification, the tightening of access to social benefits and the payment by foreign students of a “bond” for their return.
Other measures eliminated are the reintroduction of a crime of irregular stay, the establishment of immigration quotas by Parliament and the granting of a long-term visa to British people with a secondary residence in France.
The high court thus removes from the text the main measures that Macron’s centrist alliance, which lacks an absolute majority in Parliament, agreed with the right-wing opposition of The Republicans (LR) to achieve its support in December for this controversial reform. The toughening of the law, however, caused a crisis in Macron’s party and government, which resulted in the resignation of a minister and the dismissal of almost all those who criticized the reform during a government reshuffle at the beginning of January.
Thousands of people also demonstrated on Sunday against the reform, and their opponents – associations, groups, jurists and unions – denounced on Thursday near the Council a text that “seriously violated the rights of exiled people.”