(TELESUR) – France’s National Assembly has managed to push through a controversial immigration bill with 228 votes for, 139 against and 24 abstentions, following more than 60 hours of debating.
After more than 1,000 recommended amendments, one-fifth of which came from the Republic On The Move (LREM), the lower house was forced to postpone a vote on the bill Friday. President Emmanuel Macron’s LREM party was the biggest backer of the legislation, the AFP report said.
The bill reduces application deadline from 120 to 90 days with an additional two weeks to appeal if unsuccessful and introduces a one-year prison sentence for entering France illegally. The bill also extends the maximum detention time for undocumented immigrants to 90 days.
Human Rights Watch say shortening asylum application deadlines could negatively impact the “most vulnerable asylum seekers, who would be the ones most likely to miss the deadline.”
“Under the guise of providing a more effective asylum system, the bill includes a series of measures that would diminish access to protection,” the group’s France director Benedicte Jeannerod said in a statement.
Leftwing opponents of Macron also lashed out at keeping asylum seekers – including children – in detention for a longer period of time.