Like many places in the world, France is currently facing challenges when it comes to its immigration policies.
While hundreds of thousands of refugees are currently seeking asylum in France and elsewhere in Europe, they are running into strong opposition from a French population suffering from a new wave of nationalist sentiment. Many of these immigrants are running from violent regimes in North and West Africa, and have faced insurmountable obstacles to wind up on French shores. Of 100,000 asylum seekers in France last year, only a third succeeded in gaining asylum, and, once allowed to stay, were given little support from there on out.
The French parliament is set to vote on a new immigration bill by the end of this month. While centrist politicians, led by French president Emmanuel Macron, claim that the bill is designed to help the government sort out “genuine” asylum seekers from ones coming from less extreme situations, human rights groups argue that this language masks clauses in the bill that would hamper asylum seekers more than help them. Such clauses include making it faster and easier to deport asylum seekers, reducing the period of time in which they can apply for asylum, and increasing the amount of time that asylum seekers can be detained before deportation.
While this might be presented as a bill that will help future asylum seekers, it does little to help those struggling right now in France, and much more will need to be done in order to assure that France has the laws in place to handle the influx of immigrants coming its way.