Paris- The year 2024 kicks off with a new debate over immigration policy in France Because of a report published by the Audit Bureau under the title “Policy to Combat Irregular Migration” last Thursday, which revealed the lack of human resources and the lack of standard stability that complicates the work of immigration departments and courts.
The postponement of the publication of the report – which was scheduled for last December 13, that is, two weeks after the ratification of the immigration law – raised a wave of questions and protests by political parties in France.
The country is still experiencing strong criticism against the head of the independent judiciary – especially from the right and the extreme right – because he is considered to be obstructing the democratic debate and taking the immigration file towards a political dimension, waiting for the Executive Council to take its final decision on the text of the law.
An expensive and failed policy
After the first edition in April 2020 – which focused on the integration of regular migrants and the exercise of the right to asylum – the Accounting Council indicates in its new report the methods applied and the results reached in relation to the objectives set by the State.
The Council considers that the current French government’s policy regarding the immigration file is “deficient” and “ineffective” despite the amendment of immigration legislation 133 times within 10 years. It estimates the annual cost of the policy to combat irregular immigration at approximately 1.8 billion euros, resources that depend for its financing on 90% of the budget of the Ministry of Interior.
The 141-page report addressed three basic aspects of this policy: border control, administrative regulation of foreigners who are in an illegal situation on French territory, and organizing their return to their countries of origin.
He also criticizes the Interior Ministry's supposed software for managing foreigners in France, describing it as “outdated.”
Although at least 12 systems are used to monitor and register foreigners, the governorates lack data that shows each person’s journey from his entry to his exit from the region.
In return, the Council calls on the government to increase human resources to better manage the anti-immigration policy by employing about 16,000 full-time civilian and military employees, including border police officers.
It is noteworthy that the report was included in the court’s publication schedule several months before the draft immigration law was presented to the Council of Ministers and then to Parliament in February 2023, and was prepared before the law was passed last December.
Perhaps the issue of “the necessity of leaving French territory” (or QTF) is considered the most severe point on the executive authority, which has made it a key card in its arguments and discussions on immigration to discourage new arrivals.
The Accounting Council notes that governors issued more than 447,000 rulings between 2019 and 2022, declaring that governorates are “overburdened, making legal errors, and facing difficulties in meeting legal deadlines.”
The report also reveals in numbers the gap between the stringency of the rules and the means of implementing them. For example, cases of obligations to leave the country increased by 60% over the past five years, but the number of governorate employees responsible for implementing legislation on the rights of foreigners did not exceed only 9%, which indicates a significant shortage. In civil servants.
The international comparisons studied by the report also show the impossibility of deporting more than 100,000 people currently subject to a deportation order, especially since France is considered to lag significantly behind its European neighbors, with 4,979 voluntary returns recorded in 2022 compared to more than 26,000 in the previous year. Germany In the same year.
According to the General Directorate ofTo the European Commission (Eurostat), France is one of the countries that most implements forced deportation measures in European UnionMore than 11,000 procedures were carried out in 2022 and about 19,000 in 2019.
The French authorities issued more than 153,000 deportation orders in 2022, including 134 commitments to leave French territory, while the number of asylum applications rejected after all appeals ranges between 60 and 70 thousand annually since 2016, according to the same source.
Calls for resignation
In response to the dissatisfied reactions to the postponement of the publication of the report by the head of the Court of Auditors, Pierre Moscovici, Moscovici explained that the reason was to avoid simultaneous it “with the context of a heated parliamentary debate,” but his arguments did not convince a wide segment of representatives and politicians who are calling on him today to resign.
Laurent Fouquier, President of the Regional Council of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, considered – in a tweet on the “X” platform – that Moscovici's decision “is a serious violation of our democracy and the most basic constitutional obligations imposed on the Court of Auditors.”
He also directed harsh criticism at him because he “deliberately delayed the publication of a report from the Accounting Council so that its conclusions could not be known during the parliamentary discussion on the immigration law,” as he put it.
For her part, you see Rashida Dati Minister of Justice under the former president Nicolas Sarkozy And the mayor of the seventh district in Paris Currently, delaying the report is “an anti-democratic act that reflects contempt for the people and elected officials.”
In turn, French MP Nicolas Dupont-Aignan called for the resignation of the head of the bureau, saying, “If he really bore the responsibility, he would have resigned, what a shame.”
The French Senate also joined the line yesterday, Monday, considering that the findings and recommendations reached by the Chamber were mentioned in a previous report by the Chairman of the Laws Committee, François Tuil Bouvet, 3 years ago, indicating that the Legal Committee in the Senate will hear from Moscovici in the coming days.
In an interview on C News, the member put… European Parliament François-Xavier Bellamy's credibility is called into question, as he confirmed his participation in this attack on the director of the public institution “whose mission – within the meaning of the constitution – is to enlighten the public debate and inform the French about issues of state action.”
He added, “This institution is prevented by its first president from publishing its findings on a key topic, which is the issue of immigration, at a time when a decisive debate is taking place in Parliament and the entire French society.”