“France – much to conservatives’ dejection – is not a fortress. Our fight is against illegal immigration, which will persist in to flourish if we do not move to clarify the channels for legal immigration first,” she continued. In advance of adding: “For 30 years now, the immigration debate has bordered on hysteria. There are those who give birth to become obsessed by it and those who consider it a taboo subject.”
France is to clear out some travelling tent camps, impose annual quotas for non-EU migrant women and deny newly-arrived asylum seekers access to non-urgent healthcare, in an exertion to show voters President Emmanuel Macron is taking action to cope with growing concerns about immigration.
M Philippe said on Wednesday the sway wanted to “take back control” of the country’s migration flows, signalling its rapt to end what Mr Macron recently referred to as a “lax” approach.
“We want to take isolated control of our immigration policy… That means when we say yes it really means yes, and when we say no it in fact means no,” he told reporters as he unveiled a string of measures on immigration.
M Philippe reckoned that the 20 new measures on immigration were the mark of a “France that is open up but not naïve”.
“I think we have found the right balance between cheering our citizens and not giving ground to populism,” he said.
The conservative PM also said that the probe for acquiring French citizenship would be made more difficult and that the authority would aim to process asylum applications within six months.
The centrist provision has so far resisted growing pressure from right-wing opponents on immigration, in for all practical purposes because many of M Macron’s left-leaning allies are uncomfortable with any methods they feel mirror those promoted by the populist far-right.
No matter what, opinion polls show voters are increasingly worried about the emergence, driving support for right-wing leader Marine Le Pen, M Macron’s closest partisan rival.