Macron’s Plan on Migrants: Deport More, Give Others Legal Status

“We must be able to take in more quickly those who deserve asylum, and refuse more quickly those who cannot obtain it on our soil,” Gérald Darmanin, Mr. Macron’s hard-line interior minister, said on Tuesday.

A collective of aid groups, including Amnesty International, denounced in a statement what they saw as measures that “risk further eroding the rights of foreigners,” such as the rights to asylum and to a fair trial, and may result in “the worsening of the precariousness” of asylum seekers.

That insecurity has played out for several days in central Paris, near the Louvre museum, where dozens of young migrants have set up tents in the freezing cold to demand that they be recognized as unaccompanied minors and be offered asylum.

François Héran, a leading expert on migration who teaches at Collège de France, said France delivered “far too many removal orders,” more than it can enforce, including to migrants who are working and well integrated.

According to the Senate report, the number of orders issued doubled in the past decade, reaching 122,000 in 2019, the same level as “Greece, Spain, and Italy combined, which face at least comparable migration pressure.”

Mr. Héran added that the law illustrated what he says is France’s refusal to accept that rising immigration is now a global phenomenon affecting all Western countries. “The current debate is totally out of step with the reality,” he said.

In an effort to balance tighter admission rules with better settlement conditions, the government also announced that it planned to create renewable one-year residence permits for undocumented migrants who are already in France and want to work in sectors suffering staffing shortages, such as catering.