Amid opposition from the Socialists and Greens
France intends to end nationality by birth on the island of Mayotte to limit immigration

The French authorities announced their intention to make a controversial constitutional amendment that would abolish the right of those born on the French island of Mayotte, which has a Muslim majority in the Indian Ocean, to obtain citizenship, claiming that it would help stop the illegal immigration crisis. This step was rejected by the Socialists and Greens, who considered it offensive to the values ​​of the French Republic.

French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin announced on Sunday, February 11, during a visit he made to the island of Mayotte, the government’s intention to end the “right of land” in effect, which grants French nationality to every person born on the island, regardless of their origins. This will be done through a review of the constitution that will be decided by President Emmanuel Macron.

Darmanin said: “We will take a radical decision regarding ending the right to land, and it will be put up for discussion when the president decides to do so.”, according to the “Euro News” website.

He continued in other words: “No person will be able to obtain French citizenship unless he is the son of French parents,” adding that “this decision will put a final end to the attractiveness of this island,” which is visited by many people, especially from the neighboring Comoros. Darmanin described this decision as “strong, clear and radical, but it will only be applied on the island of Mayotte.”

There were positive reactions from the right and far-right regarding this announcement. A representative from the island of Mayotte, Mansour Qamar Al-Din (Republicans), expressed his “joy”, while the Socialist Party criticized him. Boris Vallaud, head of the Socialists in the National Assembly, told France 3 that they will oppose the revision of the constitution, stressing that “nationality acquired by birth is non-negotiable.”

As for the Greens, Marie Toussaint, a candidate to run in the European elections next June, announced that “Darmanin’s decision will not solve the problems afflicting the island of Mayotte, but will destroy our values ​​and harm our republic.”

This decision, which the Republican and National Rally (far-right) parties described as “bold,” comes after weeks of demonstrations and protests organized by young people to denounce the lack of security and the burden of illegal immigration on this island, which suffers from various social and economic problems.

Mayotte consists of two islands that voted to remain part of France in 1973, while the other islands in the surrounding Muslim-majority archipelago declared their independence to become the Republic of the Comoros.

In December 2023, the French Parliament approved a strict immigration draft law that was adopted under pressure from the right, and Parliament will begin discussing it next March.

On January 8, 2024, the Constitutional Council – the highest constitutional authority in France – rejected more than a third of the provisions contained in the controversial immigration law, especially provisions related to reducing social benefits and family reunification, in addition to imposing a special immigration quota system determined by Parliament.

The court rejected 32 provisions out of 86 on the grounds that they were not related to the subject of the law. The Constitutional Council also partially or completely denounced 3 other provisions, and partially rejected Parliament’s setting of special quotas for immigrants.

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