The French Government is working on a law on immigration which, among other things, aims to regularise the undocumented who are already working in labour-intensive sectors, but this will not be done globally and massively, but on a case-by-case basis, taking into account integration criteria.
This is the message of the members of Emmanuel Macron’s Executive on Tuesday, coinciding with a debate this afternoon in the National Assembly in which Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne will give the first strokes of that bill that will be formally presented in January.
Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin told France Info radio that the idea is to grant those without papers who already hold jobs in stressed sectors work permits of one year renewable, that is, a period of less than 18 months that would give them the right to bring their families to France.
These people would also have to meet two conditions: not having a criminal record and passing a French exam, according to the minister, who added that during the parliamentary debate other general criteria could be set, such as having a minimum time in France and establishing a ceiling of regularizations each year.
In any case, government spokesman Olivier Véran stressed in another interview on France 2 that “there will be no massive, global regularization,” but that the granting of work permits to those without papers will be done “on a case-by-case basis.”
Darmanin estimated that “a few thousand or a few tens of thousands” workers are in a situation likely to benefit from these mechanisms.
One of the novelties that would have to come with the new law is the updating of the sectors that are considered in tension, in which companies have many difficulties in finding workers. It is assumed that among them will be catering, agriculture or construction.
Another leg of the future law is a legislative reform to speed up the expulsions of immigrants who are in an irregular situation in France, and that includes in particular the withdrawal of social benefits that they may be receiving from the French state.
Darmanin noted that the problem is that “a large part of foreigners in an irregular situation entered (France) on a regular basis” with a tourist visa, stayed and obtained social benefits while they were still in legal status.
That is why his government wanted the agencies that administer those benefits (such as housing or family benefits) to intervene to withdraw them.
Another part of the work pending for their expulsion is that which has to be done by the prefectures (delegations of the Government), responsible for processing their shipment to the countries of origin, and diplomatic action with those countries of origin.
In this regard, the head of Interior denied that the blockade is maintained by Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco to the acceptance of their nationals expelled by France, and to prove it he said that since the beginning of the year they have increased by 21%.