What are the main measures of the asylum and immigration bill?
The draft new asylum and immigration law must be presented on Wednesday to the Council of Ministers before being sent to the Senate and then to the National Assembly. The government plans in particular to create a residence permit dedicated to jobs “in tension”, to condition the obtaining of a residence permit on a level of French or to facilitate the removal of foreigners representing a threat to order. audience.
This will be one of the laws that will be the most debated in France in 2023, with that on pensions. The asylum and immigration bill must be presented to the Council of Ministers, Wednesday, February 1, before being examined by the senators, then by the deputies in the National Assembly in the spring. This is the 29th immigration law planned since 1980 and some of its articles worry associations for the defense of the rights of exiles who have already denounced measures which “risk further curtailing the rights of foreigners”. InfoMigrants provides an update on the main provisions of the text.
Condition the obtaining of a multi-year residence permit on a minimum level of French
The government wishes to condition the obtaining of a multi-year residence permit on a minimum level of French. Today, only regular attendance is required to obtain a multi-year residence permit, without any obligation of result at the end of the language courses provided by the Ofii in the French course under the Republican integration contract (Cir ).
The bill does not provide for the strengthening of language training, the duration of which has already been doubled in 2018, but plans to involve companies by asking them to consider these French courses as “effective working time (which) gives rise to the maintenance of his remuneration”.
>> To read: The more we postpone language learning and access to work, the more we place foreigners in difficulty”
Create a special “shortage occupations” residence permit
This is one of the main measures of this bill carried by the Minister of the Interior Gérald Darmanin and the Minister of Labor Olivier Dussopt: to allow foreigners who have worked for at least eight months in professions which encounter recruitment difficulties and who have lived continuously in France for at least three years to benefit from a one-year residence permit. The title will not open the right to family reunification.
Welcomed by several unions and bosses of sectors in tension such as catering, the measure is conditional on an update of the list of professions in tension because many of the professions concerned do not appear on it today.
>> To read: The French government wants to create a residence permit for health professionals
The right has already opposed it, arguing that it would lead to a wave of regularization of undocumented workers. Faced with these arguments, Gérald Darmanin said he was ready to compromise. “At the LR, some defend the idea of establishing quotas to limit regularizations. Let’s discuss it”, he launched this weekend in Le Parisien.
Increase in fines for employers guilty of illegal work
The “work” part of the bill also provides for an increase in fines for employers employing undocumented people. “The maximum amount of the fine is €4,000 and can be applied as many times as there are workers affected by the breach”, specifies the bill. The amount can be doubled if the offense is repeated within two years.
Allow certain asylum seekers to work from the start of the examination of their asylum application
“Access to the labor market may be authorized, as soon as the application is submitted, to asylum seekers from a country appearing on a list fixed annually”, details the bill. The list in question has not been revealed but it should primarily concern Afghans, the first nationality for which asylum is recognized, according to Eurostat.
>> To read: Employment: “The integration of refugees is a marathon, not a sprint”
Currently, asylum seekers are not allowed to work during the first six months of the examination of their asylum application.
Expand the use of a single judge at the CNDA
Changes in the functioning of the National Court of Law (CNDA) are planned. Currently, asylum seekers are judged there by three people, a president and two temporary judges. “One is appointed by the Council of State, the other, often an academic or rich in international field experience, is appointed by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)”, underlined, in September, in Liberation, Raphaël Maurel, researcher and secretary general of the Observatory of public ethics.
>> To read: Behind the scenes of the CNDA: “Assume the gray areas of the case” before the judge
The bill intends to expand the presence of a single judge to rule at the CNDA, while leaving the Court “the possibility of referring to a collegial formation when the complexity of the case justifies it”. The project is criticized by many actors who believe that this decision would harm asylum seekers. “Only collegiality very often guarantees that the applicant will be sufficiently listened to and questioned”, declared in his tribune Raphaël Maurel.
Facilitate the expulsion of foreigners representing a threat to public order
The bill aims above all to promote the expulsion of foreigners who pose a threat to public order, in particular through a “structural” reform of asylum and litigation for foreigners.
The executive also wants to authorize the “use of coercion for the taking of fingerprints and the taking of photographs of foreigners in irregular stay” controlled at the borders.
He also wants to reintroduce a measure of the separatism law initially censored by the Constitutional Council in 2021, to “make possible the refusal, withdrawal or non-renewal of certain residence permits” in the event of non-compliance with “principles of the Republic “, including gender equality, freedom of sexual orientation and symbols of the Republic.