Paris-France will reduce the number of visas available to the people of the Maghreb countries as the government refuses to return illegal immigrants who have returned, government spokesman Gabriel Attal said on Tuesday.
Immigration is becoming an important campaign issue for the French presidential election scheduled for April next year, and the Conservative Party is challenging President Emmanuel Macron’s policies. Macron has not yet announced whether he will support reelection.
Mr Atal said the French government will halve the number of visas available to Algerian and Moroccan citizens and cut Tunisian visas by almost one-third.
“These countries are a necessary decision because they don’t want and accept people who can’t stay in France,” he told “France Europe 1” radio.
Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita told Rabat reporters that the decision was “unjustice” and “does not reflect the reality of consular cooperation in the fight against illegal immigrants.”
French politician Marine Le Pen said on Monday that if she were elected president next year, she would call a referendum proposing significant immigration restrictions.
Le Pen is on France 2 TV, a referendum enters French territory, proposes strict criteria for acquiring French nationality and gives French citizens preferential access to social housing, work and social security benefits Said.
In 2017, she advanced to the second round of the presidential election, but lost to Macron, who won more than 66% of the votes.
By Matthieu Protard and Kate Entringer