African students banned from bringing families to France

    The French parliament has passed legislation prohibiting Nigerian students and others from bringing their families to France.

    The law has stirred fierce debate, exposing fractures within the governing alliance and triggering resignations in protest.

    Directly addressing the passing of the law, Marine Le Pen of the National Rally hailed it as an “ideological victory” for the far-right, while Eric Ciotti, leader of the right-wing Republican party, lauded it as “firm and courageous.”

    According to a report by the BBC on Thursday, a previous draft was rejected by parliament last week when the National Rally, as well as the left, voted against it. In response, the government redrafted the bill, making some of its provisions tougher.

    “This is our bill,” said Eric Ciotti, the leader of the right-wing Republican party. He called it “firm and courageous”.

    But left-wingers said Mr Macron was enabling the far-right. “History will remember those who betrayed their convictions,” Socialist party leader Olivier Faure said.

    32 of France’s 101 departments, including Paris, said they would refuse to implement the provisions of the law on benefits for non-citizens.

    The French vote came hours before an EU agreement to reform the asylum system across the bloc’s 27 member states.

    The new pact, agreed by EU governments and European Parliament members, includes creating border detention centres and enabling the quicker deportation of rejected asylum seekers.