Paris: French President Emanuel Macron announced strict action against refugees on Wednesday. This was informed by the French Interior Minister, Gerard Collomb in a French cabinet meeting. This has provisions for accelerating the expulsion of illegal immigrants and making illegal entry into France a criminal offence. There are severe reactions in France over the Macron government’s declared plan.
As per the new immigration law, a person entering France illegally will be charged with a criminal offence and will be imprisoned for one year. Other than this, there will be a fine of 750 Euros imposed on such refugees. The refugees without any documents will be detained for 90 days. Previously, this period was of 45 days.
The time limit for application for acceptance as a authentic immigrant has been brought down and only 90 days will be available for this. The time taken for deciding the refugee application has been reduced to six months from the existing 11 months. After this the illegal immigrants will be expelled forcefully. The leaders of the allied parties in the government are reacting strongly to these measures announced by the Macron government.
A member of the ruling party, Mathieu Orphelin expressed great resentment over the increase in the detention period of the refugees. Whereas, parliamentarian Sonia Krimi accused the government of playing with people’s fears. The groups working for the refugee cause have started protests in France.
The discontent about the refugee influx has been seen to be on the rise in most of the European countries in the last year. It had reflected in the elections held in Germany, Austria and Poland. The political groups opposing the refugee influx are gaining popularity and leaders from Marine Le Pen’s party opposing the refugee influx, have got more than 30% of the vote share.
Mayors of some leading cities in France, through a letter had requested the President to find an immediate solution to the refugee problem. The French President had taken a decision to increase security arrangements in the city of Caley, on the British border to stop the refugee influx. An agreement to that effect also was signed. Nevertheless, the security agencies had expressed concern about the refugee influx and the increase in the crime rate because of that.
France has started amending the laws in view of the anti-refugee decisions and the rising discontent in the neighbouring countries. There was surprise expressed that President Macron has taken this decision in spite of having pro-refugee groups in his alliance partners. Last year about 100 thousand refugees had entered France and about 15 thousand of them had been expelled.