By The Associated Press on January 25, 2024.
PARIS (AP) – France’s Constitutional Council on Thursday rejected several measures in a divisive new immigration law that critics call inhumane, in a new blow to President Emmanuel Macron and his government.
The council said in a statement that it threw out all or part of 32 of the law’s 86 articles, saying they were contrary to the constitution. Macron and lawmakers had sought the body’s assessment of the law, passed last year after a torturous debate.
Among measures rejected were those making it harder for immigrants to bring their families to France, and limiting their access to social welfare. The bill also strengthens France’s ability to deport foreigners considered undesirable.
Groups who see the law as contrary to French values – and as a gift to the increasingly influential far right – protested ahead of the ruling outside the Constitutional Council across from the Louvre Museum in central Paris. Other protests were also planned, and Paris police deployed special security measures for the day.
The demonstrators accused the government of caving into pressure from Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Rally party to get the law through parliament. About 75,000 people protested across France on Sunday over the legislation, urging Macron not to sign it into law.
The dispute comes amid tensions across Europe around migration and as anti-immigration parties on the far right are rising in popularity ahead of European Parliament elections in June.
Macron has moved increasingly to the right, notably on security and immigration issues, since rising to office on a pro-business, centrist platform.