Immigration law: deputies in favor of a battery of “firmness” measures

The deputies adopted this Friday in committee a series of “firmness” measures for the draft immigration law. They aim to facilitate the expulsion of foreigners convicted of certain crimes or offenses or representing a “serious threat” to public order.

After the measures on the regularization of undocumented workers in professions in tension, castigated by the right, the Law Commission looked at the security aspect of the government text, which is in the sights of the left. The deputies thus gave the green light to an original article, aimed at lifting the “protections” against the expulsion of foreigners in a legal situation via ministerial decrees, when they have committed certain crimes and serious offenses.

The “protections” in question concern foreigners with strong ties to France, particularly family ties. They may be lifted in the event of conviction for crimes or offenses punishable by ten years of imprisonment or five years in the event of “repetition”. The deputies removed the tightening measures from the Senate, which had lowered these limits to five and three years. “We are in the process of emptying this article 9 which is the main selling point of Mr. Darmanin”, the Minister of the Interior, took offense the boss of the LR deputies, Olivier Marleix, denouncing “a little additional unraveling” of the copy from the Senate.

“Use of coercion” to take fingerprints of foreigners

The deputies also adopted the article reducing protections against decisions of “obligation to leave French territory” (OQTF) when “the foreigner has committed acts constituting a serious threat to public order or the security of the ‘State’, with the exception of minors. People who arrived in France before the age of 13 or have resided in the territory for more than twenty years could now be affected. Gérald Darmanin took the example of the “Arras killer” who fatally stabbed Professor Dominique Bernard: “he hit his mother, we were not able to give him an OQTF because he arrived before the age of 13”.

Despite opposition from the left, the commission also validated the possible “recourse to coercion” for taking the fingerprints of illegally staying foreigners. The creation of a “national file of delinquent unaccompanied minors”, introduced by the Senate, was removed from the text by convergent amendments from the presidential camp and the left.

The deputies also adopted the ban on placement in administrative detention centers (CRA) of any minor foreigner. The initial article, which LR asked in vain to delete, provided for a ban on children under 16 years of age. But an amendment from the independent Liot group extended the ban to under-18s, as well as to “administrative detention facilities”. “It’s an absolutely major decision,” rejoiced the general rapporteur (Renaissance, majority) of the text, Florent Boudié.

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