The French Constitutional Council rejected more than a third of the provisions contained in the controversial immigration bill that was adopted under pressure from the far-right, and while human rights organizations considered the ruling a “victory,” right-wing forces described it as a “coup by the judiciary.”
French media reported that the texts rejected by the Council on Thursday, January 25, include those related to reducing social benefits and family reunification, in addition to imposing a special immigration quota system determined by Parliament.
It is noteworthy that this draft was approved under pressure from the extreme right.
The Council supported the rest of the provisions of the law initially proposed by the government of President Emmanuel Macron, but denounced the additions that came under pressure from the right and the extreme right.
For his part, French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin praised the decision of the Constitutional Council. He wrote on his account on the X platform, “The Constitutional Council has approved all the government’s text”
But Jordan Bardella, head of the far-right National Rally party, criticized what he described as a “coup by the judges with the support of the president.” Bardella called for a referendum on immigration as “the only solution.”
In the same context, the head of the Republican Party, Eric Ciotti, called for constitutional reform that is “more important than ever to protect the fate of France.” He added, “This censorship was expected by Emmanuel Macron and the left,” considering that members of the Constitutional Council “rule by politics, not by law.”
The court rejected 32 amendments out of 86 on the grounds that they were not related to the subject of the law. However, these amendments may later be accepted as part of various other legislation.
The Constitutional Council also partially or completely denounced three other amendments, and partially rejected Parliament’s setting of special quotas for immigrants.
The head of Amnesty International in France, Jean-Claude Samouiller, also considered the Constitutional Council’s decision a “victory.”
As for the coordinator of the “France Unbowed” party, Manuel Bompard, he considered that the law had lost its legitimacy, “and the government must withdraw it immediately.”
He added in a tweet on X “The Constitutional Council has just observed more than a third of the immigration law. It reminds us that the worst racist fantasies of Macron and Le Pen (referring to Marine Le Pen, leader of the National Rally party) contradict our republican principles… It has no legitimacy….”
Parliament adopted this draft on December 19, which reduces social benefits for foreigners, sets immigration quotas, reconsiders the law on automatically obtaining citizenship upon birth in France, and reintroduces the “criminalization of illegal residence.”
Tens of thousands demonstrated in several cities in France to protest the controversial immigration law and demanded its withdrawal, amid criticism of the law that it adopts many far-right ideas.