MEPs adopted in committee on Friday, December 1, a series of “firmness” measures in the immigration bill, aimed at facilitating the expulsion of foreigners convicted of certain crimes and offenses, or representing a “serious threat” to public order.
After the measures on the regularization of undocumented workers in professions in tension, castigated by the right, the Law Commission looked into the security aspect of the government text, which is in the sights of the left.
The deputies gave the green light to an original article of the bill, aimed at lifting “protections” against the expulsion of legally resident foreigners via ministerial decrees, when they have committed certain serious crimes and misdemeanors. The “protections” in question concern foreigners with strong ties to France, particularly family ties. They may be lifted in the event of conviction for crimes or offenses punishable by ten years of imprisonment or five years in the event of “repetition”. The deputies removed the tightening measures from the Senate, which had lowered these limits to five and three years.
“We are in the process of emptying this article 9 which is the main selling point of Mr. Darmanin”, the Minister of the Interior, took offense the boss of the LR deputies, Olivier Marleix, denouncing “a little additional unraveling” of the copy from the Senate. The deputies also adopted the article reducing protections against decisions of “obligation to leave French territory” (OQTF) when “the foreigner has committed acts constituting a serious threat” to public order or the security of the State, with the exception of minors. People who arrived in France before the age of 13 or have resided in the territory for more than twenty years could now be affected. Gérald Darmanin took the example of the “Arras killer”: “He hit his mother, we were not able to give him an OQTF because he arrived before the age of 13”.
Despite opposition from the left, the commission also validated the possible “use of coercion” for taking the fingerprints of illegally staying foreigners. The creation of a “national file of delinquent unaccompanied minors”, introduced by the Senate, was removed from the text by convergent amendments from the presidential camp and the left. The deputies also adopted the ban on the placement in administrative detention centers (CRA) of any minor foreigner. The initial article, which LR asked in vain to delete, provided for a ban on children under 16 years of age. But an amendment from the independent Liot group extended the ban to under-18s, as well as to “administrative detention facilities”. “It’s an absolutely major decision,” rejoiced the general rapporteur of the text, Florent Boudié (Renaissance).