France's Lower House passes bill to tighten migration process

The French National Assembly has approved a controversial bill aimed at tackling illegal migration into the country. The legislation, passed on Sunday by 228 to 139 votes, seeks to double the time illegals may be detained by authorities. The legislature also aims to shorten the deadlines for asylum applications, as well as to introduce jail time and heavy fines for those who illegally cross the border into France. Migration remains a controversial topic in France, which received roughly 100,000 asylum applications last year. While the government argues that more controls are needed to balance the rise of anti-immigration populist parties, the right-wing opposition maintains that the bill is too soft on migrants. Left-wing parties and NGOs view the legislation as repressive. Before President Emmanuel Macron can sign off on the bill, the text has yet to be debated by the Senate in June.