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France sets out plans for tighter migration regime, longer detention

Europe
21.02.2018
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Paris (dpa) - The French government set out plans to tighten up immigration law and double the length of time migrants can be held in detention, from 45 to 90 days.

France needed to bring its migration policy into line with other European countries or it risked becoming "the country of last resort," Interior Minister Gerard Collomb said Wednesday.

Countries such as Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands allowed irregular migrants to be held in detention for up to 18 months, he noted.

The planned measures have been criticized by migrant support groups as well as by the country‘s general inspector of prisons, who said the conditions in detention centres were often deplorable.

Refugee movements were "a problem that can lead to a number of difficulties for countries," Collomb said, pointing to rising support for the far right in recent elections in Germany and Austria.

Migration is a hot topic in France, and is constantly raised by the far-right National Front of Marine Le Pen, President Emmanuel Macron‘s main rival in last year‘s election.

Macron has repeatedly said that France needs to do more to welcome and integrate genuine refugees, but also needs to take more effective action to deport failed asylum seekers and illegal immigrants.

The new draft law was "balanced," Collomb said, listing provisions to re-unite the families of under-age refugees and grant longer residence cards to non-refugees allowed stay on humanitarian grounds.

 

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