France to crack down on irregular migrants

Sanctions for those who breach border and jail for undocumented

20 February, 20:08

    PARIS - French Interior Minister Gérard Collomb will present a draft law on asylum and immigration to the president's cabinet on Wednesday, in a move to crack down on irregular migration.

    The new migrant law has already been criticised in recent months by civil rights activists and NGOs.

    According to the law, the time limit for obtaining asylum will be reduced to six months, but the duration of temporary custody in detention centres will be increased.

    French daily Le Monde said there will also be criminal sanctions for those who illegally cross the border, with undocumented migrants, known as "sans-papiers", risking up to five years in prison.

    At the same time, Paris plans to facilitate so-called "selective migration", in particular for students who wish to stay in France, as well as for family reunification.

    On Monday, MP Aurelien Tachè of majority party La République En Marche presented 72 proposals to favor refugee integration.

    Observers called it a sort of "counterpoint" to help Collomb's law go down easier with those in the parliamentary majority who are more closely tied to the open spirit of a France that sees itself as the "homeland of human rights".

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