Emmanuel Macron's government in crisis after migration bill defeat


French President Emmanuel Macron's government is facing a crisis as opposition parties have joined forces to defeat a crucial immigration bill.

Opposition parties, spanning the far right, far left, and moderates, joined forces on Monday to reject a key immigration bill in France. The left criticized the measures as too repressive, while the right argued they were not stringent enough.

Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin, known for his tough stance on immigration, offered to resign after the defeat, but President Emmanuel Macron declined his resignation.

The government had asserted that the bill aimed to control immigration and enhance migrant integration. The proposed legislation sought to facilitate the expulsion of migrants sentenced to prison terms of five years or longer and make it more challenging for migrants to bring family members to France.

Despite being more lenient than a draft from the right-dominated Senate, the bill faced criticism from various quarters. Before the vote, Darmanin argued that passing the bill would enable the government to deport "very dangerous" foreign nationals, including drug dealers. However, the opposition, including MPs from the far-right National Rally, far-left France Unbowed, the right-wing Republicans, and smaller parties, united to defeat the government with a vote of 270 to 265.

With President Macron's centrist Renaissance party losing its majority in parliament in June 2022, the government has encountered difficulties in winning votes. Following the rejection, the government plans to redraft the bill, as the measure used to pass laws without a vote cannot be applied to this version.