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France: Draft Law on Immigration, Integration, and Nationality

(Sept. 20, 2010) The debate on a draft law on immigration, integration, and nationality is scheduled to begin September 28, 2010, before the French National Assembly (Assemblée Nationale, Projet de loi relative à l'immigration, à l'intégration et à la nationalité, No. 2400, (last visited Sept. 17, 2010)).

The draft bill has three main goals:

·To reinforce the policy on integration of immigrants: renewal of resident cards, for example, would take into account how well an immigrant did in abiding by the integration contract that he/she is required to sign in order to settle in France on a long-term basis. There would be an accelerated access procedure for acquiring French citizenship for foreign nationals who have more rapidly integrated into French society. Obtaining French nationality through naturalization would be conditioned upon the signature of a chart of the rights and duties of the citizen.

· To transpose into French law three European Union directives: the directive on “return” of December 16, 2008, (Directive 2008/115/EC on Common Standards and Procedures in Member States for Returning Illegally Staying Third-Country Nationals, 2008 OFFICIAL JOURNAL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION [O.J.] (L348) 98, available at Europa website,
), the directive on the “blue card” of May 25, 2009, (Directive 2009-50/EC on the Conditions of Entry and Residence of Third Country Nationals for the Purpose of Highly Qualified Employment, 2009 O.J. (L155) 17, available at Europa website,
), and the directive on ” sanctions” of June 18, 2009, (Directive 2009/52/EC Providing for Minimum Standards on Sanctions and Measures Against Employers of Illegally Staying Third-Country Nationals, 2009 O.J. (L168) 24, available at Europa website,

· To improve the fight against illegal immigration: The maximum administrative detention period would be increased from 32 days to 45, in order to allow more time for the French authorities to obtain from the consulates of the home countries of the illegal immigrants the documents that are necessary for their return. Special detention transit zones could be established, if possible, wherever undocumented immigrants are discovered. Under the current legislation, transit zones are only located in airports, seaports, and railway stations open to international traffic.

Finally, an amendment to the draft law prepared by the Ministry of Immigration, if adopted, would allow the withdrawal of French citizenship within ten years of its granting to those who deliberately endanger the life of a person invested with public authority, in particular a police officer. The Minister of the Interior had also proposed the withdrawal of French nationality in cases of polygamy. His proposal was not retained by the President of the Republic. (Jim Jarrassée, La polygamie n'entrainera pas la déchéance de la nationalité, LE FIGARO (Sept. 6, 2010),