Sacha Houlié: “On immigration, LR wants a Frexit”
The Republicans have just presented their proposals on immigration. Does the government bill still have a chance? We are not “LR dependent”. The government’s bill is seven months old, and…
The Republicans have just presented their proposals on immigration. Does the government bill still have a chance?
We are not “LR dependent”. The government’s bill is seven months old, and I see the Republicans’ response serves it primarily to evade it. Our project is very clear and is based on three priorities: better deporting offenders, regularizing workers in shortage occupations and simplifying the law, that is to say mainly administrative procedures.
If we take it point by point, it was the Republicans who proposed the expulsion of offenders, without forgetting that Nicolas Sarkozy abolished the double penalty. It is the left, without going so far, which proposed the regularization of workers and, for the rest, the simplification of procedures is desired by the Council of State. We have gone as far as each party wanted.
In addition, our proposals are overwhelmingly supported by public opinion, including the regularization of workers in shortage occupations. We fear nothing because we have the courage to do what no one has done, neither on the right nor on the left.
Basically, what do you think of their proposals?
It’s a stopgap, like a willingness to cross all red lines . What are we talking about ? From a Frexit in fact. They want to get out of the European treaties, the Convention on Human Rights on asylum, state medical aid (AME)… All that doesn’t work today, ask the English. Externalizing asylum claims doesn’t work either, ask the English again. It’s all totally dysfunctional.
Can their proposals not constitute a working basis for finding a compromise?
We presented a working basis seven months ago, which is the the result of extensive consultations . We put an end to the hypocrisies, those of the left in particular. Is an offender excusable for being a foreigner? No. Is a foreign worker guilty? No.
The parties must understand that the French are smarter than them because they do not essentialize people. Foreign workers have their place in the country, criminals have no place.
What outcome then, knowing that the LR camp on their positions and the majority on the balance of its text?
Above all, I see that LR’s proposals do not have a majority in the Senate, because the centrists do not support them, starting with the constitutional law proposal. The centrist rapporteurs, on the contrary, discussed the government’s bill. They accuse us of being divided, but they are the ones who are.
Two LR deputies, Aurélien Pradié and Pierre-Henri Dumont, propose a referendum on immigration under article 11. The president of the Senate tells them that it is unconstitutional. The cacophony is at Les Républicains, because there is a facade of communication.
And I remind you that in the prefectures, the LR deputies seek the regularization of workers, requests for family reunification or asylum. Why shouldn’t what would be good in their constituencies be in a piece of legislation?
Do you find that LR’s proposals mirror those of the RN?
On the exit from the treaties, on the abolition of the AME or on the quotas, yes this is the case. For us, there will be no immigration law based on the conditions of the RN.
What are your red lines?
The withdrawal from the European treaties or the disappearance of the AME. Quotas too. A quota on asylum cannot exist, nor on family reunification. A quota on labor immigration is arbitrary and discretionary. The quota policy is an administrative overload, but here we are trying to simplify things for the administration. We will reduce immigration by looking at who can stay or not.
Basically, do you agree with the idea of changing the Constitution, in particular to include immigration in the scope of the referendum?
It has been five years since we have been able to modify the Constitution, I do not see why we would do it in the name of immigration. If we were to change the Constitution, there would be other priorities such as environmental protection or the constitutionalization of abortion .
The Republicans threaten to file a motion of no confidence in the event of recourse to 49.3. Do you fear her?
I can’t wait to see the left vote for a motion of censure tabled by LR and no doubt supported by the RN on the subject of immigration. If the socialists and the ecologists vote such a motion of censure, it is because they have lost their comp.