French body approves tough new laws targeting immigrants
Oct 12, 2010, 16:18 GMT
Paris - The lower house of the French parliament Tuesday approved a series of tough new measures targeting immigrants.
By a vote of 294 to 239, the National Assembly passed the bill proposed by Immigration Minister Eric Besson, who said in a recent interview that he wanted his ministry to be 'a machine to produce good French citizens.'
The most controversial proposal in the bill calls for any foreign- born citizen naturalized for less than 10 years to be stripped of his citizenship if convicted of killing or attacking a policeman or any other public official.
This measure was opposed by some members of the ruling coalition, because it calls for different treatment for those who are French by birth and those who are not.
Several measures also appear to target foreign-born Roma living in France.
For example, one proposal would allow the state to deport any foreigner who abuses the right to remain in France for 30 days without a permit by repeatedly leaving and returning to the country, thereby renewing this right.
In addition, the law will also make it easier to expel any foreigner who is a burden on France's social security system.
The bill is part of a sharp rightward turn by the conservative government of President Nicolas Sarkozy, which many observers regard as an attempt to attract far-right voters ahead of the 2012 presidential election.
The debate on the bill also raised questions about the right of people born on French soil to eventually acquire citizenship. Besson said a parliamentary commission is to look into the question.
If it is also approved by the Senate, it would be the fifth new law targeting migrants since 2003.
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