An Immigration Bill currently circulated among members of the French Parliament to be debated and subjected to possible amendments could pave the way amongst others “to grant hundreds of “undocumented but qualified” Senegambians and other migrants the appropriate permit to live and work in France.
The new Bill is also expected to spearhead the overhaul of the country’s existing asylum system and create a “balanced legislation” for several other immigration and nationality issues currently confronting the country.
Some of the wordings seen by the Point also revealed another side of the Bill detailing the “expulsion of delinquent foreigners” and other alleged “trouble makers” as well as other “rigid measures” against “persistent offenders”.
In addition, the Bill would appease and conciliate the extreme right whose members are now comfortably sitting in Parliament. Thus, it include “…expedite the expulsion of people who violate the rules”.
Further soothing the far-right, deportees would be on a so called “wanted list” and law enforcement officers could arrest or force them to leave and in certain cases their benefits could be stopped.
Gambian national Musa Njie, one of those waiting for “information regarding our status” and keen to move to the United Kingdom to join “family members and friends” said that he is now comfortable to stay.
Responding to this correspondent, Musa noted: “I always wanted to move to the UK where I have family members and good friends…but now I am determine to stay here and contribute as long as I get the opportunity to do so”.
Even though critics and some lawyers are complaining that “law abiding people” found in the text is not only ambiguous but vague, they maintained that there are sufficient reasons to allow migrants to stay and work in a more encouraging environment.
Also, the Bill described as “structural reform” to assist in “immigrant control” is expected to “encourage integration” and also taking into consideration that during 2021 and 2022, hundreds of foreigners were reportedly expelled from the country.
It has been disclosed that several sectors across France need thousands of job vacancies to fill thus allowing undocumented workers who are in the country for a certain number of years “not to be deported even if they are caught”.
Consequently, residency cards are to be distributed to qualified persons in various sectors of the economy.
Human rights groups quickly welcomed the introduction of the Bill and called on MPs to act “diligently… and take into consideration the plight of refugees and other migrants”.