France: Opposition to Racist Immigration Law

A woman holds a placard as people gather to attend a citizen march against the immigration law, surnamed "Darmanin law", in Paris, France, January 21, 2024. The placard reads: "No to immigration law". REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier

In France, numerous protests are taking place against the racist Darmanin law. Darmanin is the French Minister of the Interior. This new immigration law was passed on December 19 with the support of right and far-right politicians. The law extends the time before people are eligible to receive social benefits, like housing assistance and family allowances. A report indicates that 110,000 people, including 30,000 children, would be deprived of their social rights as a result of the passage of this law.

French President Macron’s political party is in a minority in the country and in Parliament. As a result, his party is increasingly turning to right-wing politicians to help push through its legislation. This explains both the vote in favor of this law, and also the opposition it arouses on the part of many immigrant aid associations, left-wing and far-left political parties and a large part of the French population.

There have already been two demonstrations against this law, on January 14 and 21. Thousands of people demonstrated to call for the withdrawal of the law. There were 160 demonstrations in various French cities on Sunday, January 21. Politicians, artists and sports personalities all called for the demonstrations.

There are many points in the law that could be unconstitutional. That’s why the highest court in the land, the Constitutional Council, which oversees compliance with the French constitution, was asked to give its opinion on January 25. But whatever the outcome in the courts, a good part of the country has clearly expressed its disgust with this law, and its solidarity with immigrants, who are an integral part of the working class, and among the most precarious and exploited part of this class.