The French parliament has voted down a flagship immigration bill of President Emmanuel Macron’s government, prompting his high-profile interior minister to offer to resign over the “failure.”
Macron rejected the offer from Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin to step down, instead ordering him to find new ways to break the deadlock and push the legislation through.
In a stunning setback for the government, the lower-house National Assembly adopted a motion to reject the controversial immigration bill without even debating it.
Originally proposed by Macron’s centrist government with a mix of steps to expel more undocumented people and improve migrants’ integration, the text of the bill leans firmly towards enforcement after its passage through the Senate, which is controlled by the right.
Speaking at the National Assembly, Darmanin defended the bill, which further restricts the ability for migrants to bring family members into France, birthright citizenship and welfare benefits.
He urged lawmakers not to join forces to vote on the rejection motion put forward by the Greens.
Despite his pleas, the National Assembly backed the motion to reject the bill by 270 votes to 265.