UN Racism Rapporteur Raises Alarm Over Equality Concerns in France’s Immigration Bill

UN Racism Rapporteur Raises Alarm Over Equality Concerns in France’s Immigration Bill

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Ashwini KP, the UN’s special rapporteur, has criticised France’s contested immigration bill, saying it is ‘unequal’ and violates the national constitution’s commitment to equality and liberty.

According to the UN rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, and related intolerance, the new immigration bill defies one of the most fundamental principles of this country, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.

When we look at the French constitution or the way in which the head of state or many in positions of power speak, it’s equality.

Ashwini KP, the UN’s Special Rapporteur

The Constitutional Council will decide on Thursday regarding the constitutionality of the bill passed by lawmakers in December. The bill, which is widely supported by far-right lawmakers, aims at reducing migration and includes measures like quotas for migrants, takes birthright citizenship away and makes it easier for someone with a criminal record to be deported.

The rapporteur raised concerns over the measures that were proposed as well as benefits for immigrants. In addition, increases in fees for foreign students have also been included in the proposal, and Ashwini KP believes that these measures would ‘impact the lives of marginalised communities.’

She said she hoped the Constitutional Council would make amendments to the legislation, as Radio France International reports.

Recently, thousands of protesters marched the streets of French citiescalling on President Macron not to sign the new immigration legislation.

The Interior French Ministry said that 75,000 protesters were recorded, with Paris being flooded with a total of 16,000. CGT Union claims that, in fact, 150,000 protesters took to the streets to object to the immigration law, with the Constitutional Council deciding whether the law aligns with the French Constitution or not.

This law has considerably restrictive provisions, including limiting migrants’ access to state healthcare, while it favours the migration of workers who can contribute in those sectors where labour shortages are evident.

In addition, the new immigration law includes a provision that facilitates the life of second homeowners from the United Kingdomallowing them to stay in the country for six months without having to apply for a visa, instead of three, as it is currently set.

Talks on the French political stage have caused the number of Brits looking to buy a house in France to soar by 582 per cent in a three-week period.

According to data by Kyero, an international property website based in the UK, the number of Britons searching for French properties on the site has sixfold since the law was passed.

Natalie Leggett, a sales support director at Leggett Immobilier, says that even the number of online views of properties has surged.

A lot of clients who had just been looking and enquiring but not doing anything else have now been activated. Another thing we have noticed is that vendors, who were going to sell and go back because of this 90-day rule, are now not selling.

Natalie Leggett, a sales support director at Leggett Immobilier

If this law is implemented, Britons who are second homeowners in France will no longer have to apply for a long-stay visa, which includes a lengthy application process and inconvenient burdens such as renewing the visa every year.

Instead, they can stay in the country for up to six months, while currently, they are allowed to stay in France for 90 days every 180-day period.

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