France plans to strip people born on the Muslim island of Mayotte of their nationality

French officials announced their intention to introduce a controversial constitutional amendment that would eliminate the right to obtain citizenship for people born on the Muslim-majority French island of Mayotte in the Indian Ocean, claiming it would help prevent illegal immigration. Will get help. crisis.

“We will take a revolutionary decision. It will no longer be possible to become French if you are not the son of a French father,” Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin announced during his visit to the island yesterday, Sunday, February 11, 2024. According to the report of French newspaper Le Monde.

Darmanin said, “This measure will reduce the attractiveness of the archipelago for potential migrants. It is a very strong, clear and radical measure, and it will obviously be limited to the Mayotte archipelago.”

Mayotte includes two islands that voted to remain part of France in 1973, while other islands in the surrounding Muslim-majority archipelago declared their independence to become the Republic of the Comoros.

The French Constitution allows the granting of citizenship to children born to a French father or mother, or born on French territory, under certain conditions, and this may be irrespective of the nationality of the parents or their place of birth, or even the period of Also depends on. The period the child spends in France before reaching the age of majority applies to all French regions with the exception of Mayotte, which is subject to more stringent rules.

For a baby born in Mayotte to be recognized as French, his or her parents must legally live in France at the time of his or her birth, but the government recently announced that it plans to further tighten these rules in 2024. Intends to.

While the left condemned the new plan as another attack on French values, right-wing and far-right political leaders immediately welcomed it and called for its implementation throughout France.

Boris Vallaud, head of the Socialists in the National Assembly, told France 3 that they would oppose amending the constitution, stressing that “nationality acquired by birth cannot be compromised.”

Leftist Manon Aubry condemned the decision, saying French President Emmanuel Macron's administration was “attacking the concept of nationalism, which is the basis of the republic.”

Meanwhile, French MP Sébastien Chennot, spokesman for the far-right National Rally party, to which Marine Le Pen belongs, asked in a post on the “X” platform, “Why don't all French people deserve what the French deserve? Land rights. “It must be abolished throughout the national territory.”

Chenu said in televised statements, “I wasted a lot of time coming to the conclusion that not only in Mayotte, but everywhere in France, it is not only necessary to abolish the land right, but to achieve this by holding a referendum and reviewing can be done.” Constitution.”

François Bayrou, head of the center-right French Union for Democracy party, said: “I proposed this decision almost 20 years ago, in 2007.”

He said in televised statements, “Since then I have become convinced that it is not possible to escape the reality, as is evident on the island of Mayotte, which represents the continuing migration from the Comoros that is causing dangerous and large waves of African migration.” Is traveling.”

In December 2023, the French Parliament approved a strict immigration draft law, which was adopted under pressure from the right, and the Parliament will begin discussing it next March.

On January 8, 2024, the Constitutional Council – the highest constitutional authority in France – rejected more than a third of the provisions included in the controversial immigration law, notably reducing social benefits and family reunification, in addition to imposing special immigration. Related Provisions Quota system prescribed by Parliament.

The court rejected 32 out of 86 amendments on the grounds that they did not relate to the subject matter of the law. The Constitutional Council also partially or completely condemned 3 other amendments due to their sentiment, and partially rejected the Parliament's establishment of special quotas for immigrants.

Mayotte…the dream of those seeking French citizenship

France has extended its sovereignty over the territory of the island of Mayotte, located northwest of Madagascar, since 1841, when Paris purchased the island, which was subject to frequent pirate attacks, before annexing the entire Comoros in 1912. Was.

Later, Paris changed the name of the island, whose population is 97% Muslim, to “Mayat” from the old Arabic name “Island of Death”, and it became known as the Island of Death. Because it is protected by coral reefs that surround it and destroy ships coming towards it.

In 1974, after the struggle against French colonialism, a popular referendum was held in which 95% of the population of the Comoros Islands voted in favor of their country's independence, and it joined the League of Arab States on November 20, 1993. became involved.

For the Mayotte referendum, 63.3% of the island's population voted against the independence option, and in a second referendum organized by Paris on the island in 1976, the result was 99.4% approval for remaining with France and not joining the state. Was. Of Comoros.

In 1995, France imposed entry visas into Mayotte on citizens of Comoros, leading to the phenomenon of irregular migration, through which residents of other islands attempted to cross the 70-kilometre distance separating them from Mayotte in small fishing boats. Try, especially pregnant women trying to reach Mayotte to give birth. They have children there, where newborns receive French citizenship.

In 2009, 95.2% of the island's voters voted in favor of making Mayotte a full French department, which was officially announced in 2011.

Although about half of the island's population does not have French citizenship, and the United Nations, the African Union, the League of Arab States, and the Comoros do not recognize France's authority over the island, Mayotte gained membership in the European Union in January 2014, the 101st. Being a French province.

According to the French National Institute for Statistics and Economic Studies (INSA), the island, which has an area of ​​375 square kilometers, is home to about 310,000 people, more than 40% of whom live on less than 160 euros per month. ,

Residence permits issued to foreigners arriving in Mayotte are valid only for the island, and cannot be used for travel to mainland France, leading to widespread protests within the island demanding the system be abolished. Have started.

Mayotte has seen an intense wave of migration for several years, most of them from the neighboring Comoros archipelago, where thousands of people are fleeing poverty and seeking better living conditions.

This influx caused great tension, as many people complained about the spread of crime and poverty, and within a few weeks the island saw protests against insecurity and the migration crisis, despite 29% of its population living near safe havens. There is shortage of drinking water.

In May 2023, as part of the Paris plan, France sent dozens of excavators, trucks and more than 600 police officers to Mayotte to deport more than 10,000 “illegal immigrants” and destroy 1,000 slums. To combat irregular migration in your area…

Since 2018, France has begun deporting an average of 25,000 Comorian citizens annually from Mayotte, and it has also given approximately 150 million euros to the Comoros government, between 2019–2022, to combat “illegal” Comorian immigration.

Source , al Jazeera , French press , social media sites

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