As the presidential elections in France are approaching, the candidates are unfolding their programs, which aim to tackle issues the country is currently dealing with. However, the EU presidency holding country, which is home to more than 6.5 million immigrants, can become one of the most stringent countries in the EU in terms of asylum and citizenship, depending on the candidate that wins the elections.
The republican candidate, Valérie Pécresse, believes that asylum applications should be reviewed outside France while also recommending that a law on immigrant quotas has to be passed by the French government. This means that if this law aims to reduce migratory flows is voted, the parliament will vote and introduce new immigration quotas every year, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
In addition, Pécresse also wants to discontinue the visa issuance for countries that do not issue consular passes to repatriate their nationals deported from France. As per social benefits, those would be granted to a non-French national only after five years of residence in France.
She also wants asylum applications to be filed in French embassies from third countries or at Roissy Charles-de-Gaulle airport. This is against international law as turning away a person seeking asylum is illegal.
Macron also had a similar point of view on the matter during his first campaign in 2017, but he has changed his mind since then.
“France will never accept the easy solutions that some today propose, which would consist in organizing deportations, across Europe, to go and put in I do not know which camp, at its borders or within it or elsewhere, the foreigners not admitted,” he said regards Austria’s desire to create hotspots outside Europe.
As the Info Migrants, an informative platform for migration, has previously revealed, Macron does not agree with several ideas of his candidate. According to Macron, using an immigration quota for new arrivals does not work for France – rather does for countries difficult to access like Australia and Canada, while he said that the National Assembly has to discuss the matter.
However, as part of his electoral campaign, Macron has included the reformation of the Schengen Area, which according to him, “a sovereign Europe is first and foremost a Europe capable of controlling its borders.”
Pécresse believes that the Returns Directive has to be revised by carrying out biometric checks on all those wishing to enter French territory and by speeding up the recruitment of 10,000 Frontex border guards.
As per social benefits, which can be accessible by non-French nationals only five years after their stay, as Pécresse proposes, Macron hasn’t yet commented on the subject.
The right-wing candidate also has critisied the law for arrivals from third countries that claim to be minors refusing to take the bone test to prove their age, saying the law is badly constructed. According to her, anyone who is declared a minor but refuses to submit to a bone test should be considered an adult, thus expecting deportation.