French president to send disputed immigration law to Constitutional Council for review, validation

Gov't spokesperson says health minister's resignation accepted, claims there is no 'ministerial revolt' over law

Nur Asena Ertürk  | 20.12.2023 - Update : 21.12.2023
French president to send disputed immigration law to Constitutional Council for review, validation


The French president will send the immigration law to the Constitutional Council on Wednesday for review, a government spokesperson said on Tuesday. 

The parliament passed into law the controversial immigration bill late on Tuesday, fracturing the political majority.

President Emmanuel Macron will transfer the law to the Constitutional Council which will review and validate it, spokesperson Olivier Veran told a news conference in Paris.

Health Minister Aurelien Rousseau's resignation was accepted, and there is no "ministerial revolt" over the law, he added.

Several other ministers had threatened to resign if the bill was adopted on Tuesday.  

Most 'xenophobic' law in France's history

Left-wing member of the French and European parliaments, Manon Aubry, denounced on X the "most xenophobic law" of France's history.

Another left-wing lawmaker, Mathilde Panot, called on President Macron not to sign and promulgate the law.

Interviewed by the broadcaster Franceinfo on Wednesday, she described the law as an "attack on fundamental rights."

One out of four lawmakers in President Emmanuel Macron's camp didn’t vote in favor of the bill, daily Le Figaro reported on Wednesday.

Far-right leader and Macron’s rival, Marine Le Pen, hailed the bill, calling it "a great ideological victory for our movement."

- Parliamentary process

The first version of the bill was passed on Nov. 14 by the Senate and scheduled for debate by the lower house members starting on Dec. 11.

Green groups submitted a motion to dismiss the bill which won 270-265, with the support of opposition parties, including left- and right-wing factions, and the bill was thus de facto rejected.

But then the government formed a joint committee of seven senators and seven MPs who found a consensus between the majority and the opposition, with a reviewed version of the text.

After the Senate’s passage of the revised text on Tuesday, MPs mostly voted in favor of the bill.

The Constitutional Council will now verify the text's validity, and the law will enter into force once it is published in the Official Gazette.

- Immigration bill

The bill was Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin's project.

It aims to harden the family reunification process, suppressing state medical assistance and requiring French proficiency as a condition for a residency permit, among other measures.

Article 3 of the draft law was the most debated and is related to giving a one-year residency permit under certain conditions to irregular foreign workers who operate in "sectors under tension" – sectors that suffer labor shortages.

Darmanin said previously that the law "would help better integration and better expelling."

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