The Senate persists and signs on immigration: after having totally reshaped the government's bill, the senators rejected on Monday 4 December the budget of the sector for 2024, a position taken essentially symbolic due to the use by the executive of 49.3 in the National Assembly.
The parliamentarians of the High Assembly have disapproved by show of hands the appropriations for the immigration, asylum and integration mission proposed by the government in its budget bill for 2024. The Senate majority, an alliance of the right and centre, denounced the "too many pitfalls" of this budget which is up 7.3% compared to 2023 (to 2.16 billion euros), according to the rapporteur of the Les Républicains group Marie-Carole Ciuntu.
This budget was constructed without taking into account the changes made in the immigration bill, including those made by the Senate," the senator said. "The strengthening of our legislation must be accompanied by a budgetary vision for the future," said MoDem senator Isabelle Florennes, a member of the centrist group.
At the beginning of November, the Senate had put a serious turn of the screw on the immigration bill, which is currently being examined by the National Assembly. In particular, the senators had tightened the conditions for the regularization of undocumented workers in occupations in short supply, and abolished state medical aid (AME), which was transformed into emergency medical aid.
However, many senatorial measures were deleted by the National Assembly in committee, before the text arrived in the hemicycle of the Palais-Bourbon on 11 December. In the Senate, the left also opposed the immigration budget, pointing to a lack of resources for the integration of migrants and the accommodation of asylum seekers.
Thanks to Article 49.3 of the Constitution used by the government in the National Assembly, this budgetary mission will nevertheless be able to be reinstated by the presidential camp in the coming days. The Minister of Citizenship and Urban Affairs, Sabrina Agresti-Roubache, tried to defend the government's choices in the face of a hostile hemicycle. "This budget marks a new stage in the efforts carried out since 2017 to consolidate our ability to control migration flows," she insisted.
Faithful to its previous choices, the Senate is expected to follow the same logic on Tuesday when examining the health budget, by reducing the amount of the AME for 410 by 2024 million euros, drawing the consequences of the reform it voted in November.