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France: a new law “for controlled immigration and an effective right of political asylum” submitted by Government today

Today, the French Government is discussing the law submitted by the Interior Minister, Gerard Collomb, the so-called law “for controlled immigration and an effective right of political asylum”. The law would reduce the deadline to get asylum to max six months after the submission of the application, instead of the current eleven on average. The problem, however, concerns an appeal made against a negative decision of the authority (Ofpra). While so far an applicant would have up to 120 days to submit an application for asylum, now they will have 90: if the application is rejected, they will have two weeks (no longer one month) to file a new appeal. The matter is very complicated, since it takes at least 30 workdays to fix a meeting in the Prefecture and one might be expelled before one can find out what will be ruled at the appeal. The law extends the time migrants can stay in an administrative detention centre (like CIEs, the Italian Centres for Identification and Expulsion) where illegal migrants who are found to have no legal residence permit are confined: the current 45 days will be extended to 90, sometimes even to as many as 135. The law would also prosecute “illegal border crossing” as a veritable crime: one year in jail and a 3,750 euros fine for people who for instance illegally cross the Alps between Italy and France, instead of at a frontier station. The law involves a few “positive” measures, such as the option for children who are eligible for refugee status to make not only their parents but also their siblings go over to France, so that “family reunions will not be detrimental to family unity”.

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