French parliament passes law to speed up asylum procedures

On 1 August, France’s parliament signed an asylum and immigration bill, cutting the current maximum processing time from 120 days after entering France down to 90 days.

As reported by France24, the legislation also cuts the timespan within which migrants can make an asylum claim, from 11 months down to six months. The legislation facilitates the expulsion of those whose claims are rejected and the acceptance of those whose cases succeed. In addition, the new law doubles the period of time that foreign citizens can be detained prior to deportation, from 45 to 90 days.

Some Senators tried to harden certain aspects of the law, while others wanted to put a five-day limit on the amount of time children, whose families are facing deportation, can be held in detention centres. The European Court of Human Rights has condemned France for detaining migrant families with children for too long in unsuitable conditions.

During a speech in front of parliament, Interior Minister Gerard Collomb said: “We are giving ourselves the means of preserving a right to asylum which, had nothing been done, could rapidly have been called into question as one fears may happen in a number of European countries.”

Since the early days of the migration crisis in Europe, France and Italy have urged the European Union to set up asylum processing centres in Africa to prevent “voyages of death” across the Mediterranean.

The EU’s current asylum rules put the responsibility of accepting migrants on the nation where migrants first arrive. As a result of this policy, Italy and Greece have been most seriously affected, although arrivals have also drastically increased in Spain in recent months.

TMP – 14/08/2018

Photo caption: A group of migrants wait to enter a humanitarian centre in northern Paris.