Following a humiliating defeat in last month’s legislative elections which saw his party lose its absolute parliamentary majority— and in an apparent effort to court the establishment center-Right—French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin has announced his desire to make it possible to expel all foreigners who have been convicted of serious criminal acts, irrespective of any special immigration status that they may have.
In an interview with the newspaper Le Monde that was published last Saturday, the interior minister called for the easing of legal provisions, which in their current form, preclude the deportation of certain foreigners who have been convicted of serious criminal acts, namely those who immigrated to France before the age of thirteen, the Paris-based Le Figaro reports.
“Today, a foreigner who has committed serious acts is not expellable as long as he meets certain conditions, such as arriving on the national territory before the age of thirteen,” Darmanin explained, adding: “We want to allow the expulsion of any foreigner found guilty of a serious act by the courts, regardless of their condition of presence on the national territory.”
Minister Darmanin announced that the new law, which he insisted “corresponds to the sovereign program that the president presented to the French,” is expected to be presented to the National Assembly sometime in September, at the beginning of the school year. He also noted that President Emmanuel Macron’s liberal coalition Ensemble is ready to “discuss, amend, and find compromises with Les Republicans, the centrists, and even part of the left” in order to stitch together the parliamentary majority needed to pass the law.
The interior minister did, however, rule out any potential cooperation with Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s anti-establishment left-wing party La France Insoumise (LFR) and Marine Le Pen’s Rassemblement National.
“I respect them as parliamentarians,” Darmanin said, “but we do not have to discuss, to negotiate with the RN or La France Insoumise.”
Despite this, Marine Le Pen, upon catching wind of the interior minister’s proposal, immediately voiced support for the idea, saying in an interview with BFMTV: “It’s yes, 100 times yes. We will sign with both hands. We will even improve its text, in my opinion, to allow it to be more effective, more efficient.”
“It has been our project for years,” Le Pen added.