|ActUp protest in Paris against new French immigration bill|
By Christophe Martet
Gone is the law allowing seriously ill foreigners to stay in France to receive care or treatment which enables them to stay alive.
MPs and senators, meeting at a joint commission Wednesday 4 May finally adopted Article 17b of the 'immigration, integration and citizenship' bill which reforms the conditions for granting a residence permit for medical reasons which were previously available to foreign citizens living in France, usually those who are very seriously ill.
Now it will be possible to deport any alien even if the patient care and treatments are "absent" in their country of origin. At present the state has to prove that treatment or care is actually available for the person before they can be removed. In practice, this was very difficult. One word can change everything and decide the fate of thousands of people: no country in the world, treatment or care is "absent". But often, especially in developing countries, they are restricted to a tiny minority.
Act Up says that this law will condemn 28,000 foreign patients and they are denouncing Nicolas Sarkozy, [Prime Minister] François Fillon and [Interior Minister] Claude Gueant and parliamentarians who have supported this measure. They and other groups are calling for civil disobedience (see our video report of the event before the Senate, Tuesday, May 3).
The National AIDS Council (NAC), led by Professor Rozenbaum, described the reform as "inept and dangerous." In its statement, the NSC said that the expert analysis of scientific and administrative bodies showed "the deleterious nature of these provisions that will result in disastrous consequences for the health and rights of subjects, which is objectively harmful to the health of the whole population will lead to additional costs to the public finances."
The statement continues: "The National AIDS Council is concerned that arguments based on preconceptions, approximations and cons-evident truths have finally won the legislature's decision, in disregard of the realities of healthcare objective and principles of rational analysis [which should] guide the development of public policies and serve the community. "