The French parliament has passed legislation banning Nigerian students and students from other countries from bringing their families to France.
After a revised version was approved, this measure won backing from President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist Renaissance party and Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Rally party.
The revised immigration policy tightens controls on family reunion, restricts migrants’ access to welfare benefits, and prohibits the incarceration of minors in detention centers.
Notably, a contentious component of the law distinguishes between citizens and migrants, including those legally residing in France, in terms of eligibility for benefits.
The amended, tougher version of the bill was supported by the right-wing parties, leading to its recent approval.
Ms Le Pen hailed the altered measure as a “ideological victory” for the far-right.
“This is our bill,” declared the leader of the right-wing Republican Party, Eric Ciotti. He described it as “firm and courageous.”
However, left-wingers claimed that Macron was aiding the far-right. “History will remember those who betrayed their convictions,” warned Socialist Party leader, Olivier Faure.
Also, the leaders from one-third of France’s regions have stated their refusal to implement key legislative measures.
The French vote came hours before an EU agreement to reform the asylum system across the bloc’s 27 member states.
The new pact, agreed by EU governments and European Parliament members, includes creating border detention centres and enabling the quicker deportation of rejected asylum seekers.
Hailed as a landmark agreement by Parliament President Roberta Metsola, the new system allows asylum seekers to be relocated from southern member states, which have the highest numbers of arrivals, to other countries.