Thursday, February 22, 2018

French gov't presents new migration, asylum rules amid criticism

French gov't presents new migration, asylum rules
French government on Wednesday unveiled a new bill to better handle migration crisis and asylum requests, saying it would balance between efficiency and humanity amid growing critics from human rights groups and even from its ranks.

During a cabinet meeting, French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb presented "a totally balanced text" that aims at reinforcing protection of vulnerable persons and minors by facilitating procedures and making easier for them to get asylum.

The bill will also double to 90 days the time in which illegal migrants can be detained, and shorten deadlines to apply for asylum to six months.

The government also wants to make illegal crossing of borders an offence and to quickly send home illegal economic migrants.

"Today, a refugee who is fleeing Syrian hell and wants to be welcomed into our country must wait more than one year before his asylum application is treated. It's not acceptable," Collomb said.

As to the disputed plan to double the time asylum seekers can be held in detention, the minister said "we are simply aligning with the European directive".

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