France looks to crack down on illegal immigration with new law


French President Emmanuel Macron is set to make a second attempt at increasing expulsions of illegal immigrants under fierce pressure from his far-right opponents.

Macron's centrist government unveiled the outlines of a new draft immigration law on Tuesday that will be debated formally in parliament in early 2023.

It comes just four years after a 2018 law with similar objectives, passed during Macron's first term in office, which also aimed to take the heat out of an explosive political issue.

"It's about integrating better and expelling better," Macron's hardline Interior Minister, Gerald Darmanin, told France Info radio on Tuesday of the new proposals.

"We want those people who work, not those who rob."

Darmanin and Macron have linked immigration to delinquency in recent weeks, with both saying that around half of petty crimes committed in Paris are by foreigners.

Speaking to the Parisien newspaper at the weekend, Macron pitched the new legislation as a means of addressing the historic rise of the far-right National Rally, which in June became the biggest opposition party in parliament.

"We need a policy that is firm and humane in line with our values," the 44-year-old said. "It's the best antidote to the extremes which feed off anxieties."

"Nothing will change ... immigration in our country is completely out of control."


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