Gérald Darmanin is counting down the days. On Monday, a political test began for him: the immigration bill, after being examined in the Senate at the beginning of November, arrived at the National Assembly. While the right, accusing the majority of having unravelled the text rewritten by the upper house in the law committee, has indicated that it will not vote for the text as it stands, the Minister of the Interior is walking a tightrope. And it is a balancing act.
How can we convince Les Républicains, whose votes are necessary for the adoption of the text, in order to avoid the use of 49.3, without turning the warp on Macron's left wing? On the eve of a trip to the Alpes-Maritimes, to Nice and Menton, this Friday, the tenant of Place Beauvau gave an interview to Nice-Matin. Out of the blue, he insists: "Nothing is settled." And this, to contradict calculations, including the one made by Le Figaro, which show that the number of votes in favor of the bill is, for the moment, insufficient for its adoption.
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Knowing that the right is the keystone of parliamentary debates, Gérald Darmanin "wants to reach out to them". The minister does not "want to believe that the LR will choose the policy of the worst or irresponsibility". All this, while giving a few examples of his firmness on migration: "The text will give the police very significant additional resources" or "smugglers will risk 15 to 20 years in prison.»
An opening on the offence of illegal residence
Recalling, on occasion, that the government has kept half of the articles proposed by senators, he "hopes that we will leave political posturing." A "Gaullist," he urged his fellow human beings "to vote to defend the general interest." To do this, the Minister of the Interior is giving way. Not on the AME, whose reform has reportedly been "censored" by the Constitutional Council. But on the offence of illegal residence, which Les Républicains wants to reactivate.
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On this point, Gérald Darmanin thinks that the "demand" of the right "deserves attention". "Let me remind you that it was the left that abolished it in 2012," the member of the executive scoffed at the time. Who says he's "open to discussion." As for Article 4 bis, which would allow undocumented workers to apply for regularisation, it asks LRs not to be "hypocritical".
Some professions need these workers," says Gérald Darmanin, who nevertheless joins the right on the exclusion of foreigners with a criminal record from this system. The threat of 49.3 may have been hovering over the debates for weeks, but the minister is calm. "I don't see myself in that perspective," he replies. By being "sure that the Republican deputies will eventually understand and will not remain on the same line of opposition as the RN.»