Introduction France makes immigration tougher for students
A controversial immigration reform has finally been approved by French lawmakers, making it more challenging for foreign workers and students to relocate to the European nation.
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The legislation, which represents a compromise between the conservative opposition and the party of French President Emmanuel Macron, reflects a wider trend in Europe: a move to the right in reaction to the far-right’s increasing influence in politics. The passed bill changes the requirements for qualifying for state subsidies such as family allowances and housing aid, imposing harsher rules on immigrants.
The new rule stipulates that immigrants must now live in France for a minimum of several months to years before being eligible for governmental assistance. The law also levies new immigration costs for international students and creates obstacles for immigrants who want to bring their family members to the United States.
Following the lower house decision, Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin declared, “Today, strict measures are necessary.” “It’s not by holding your nose in central Paris that you can fix the problems of the French in the rest of the country.”
First presented as a reasonable solution to expedite the removal of illegal immigrants while providing residency permits for immigrants working in labor-scarce industries, the bill was changed to appease conservatives. As a result, policies pertaining to residency permits were watered down, and receiving welfare benefits—such as child support and housing allowances—was delayed by a number of years.
In addition, the deal establishes harsher requirements for immigrant children to get French citizenship, sets migration quotas, and states that dual nationals convicted of major offenses against the police may have their French citizenship revoked.
This legislative action highlights the difficult balancing act Macron’s administration must perform in order to solve issues raised by people on opposing sides of the political spectrum. Although the immigration front was won, the concessions made highlight the difficulties in negotiating the complex political environment in modern-day France.
Contributed by Ankit Raj