French Senate Commission Shoots Down Amendent On DNA Tests For Immigrants

French Senate commission shoots down amendment on DNA tests for immigrants

26.09.2007 16:33:24

( – PARIS (AP) – A French Senate commission shot down Wednesday an amendment to an immigration bill that would have requested DNA samples from immigrants trying to join relatives in France.

The Senate's commission on laws, which is responsible for reviewing legislation, stripped the amendment out of a law to tighten immigration requirements.

Last week, Parliament's lower house approved the amendment, which would have allowed consular officers to request DNA samples from immigrants trying to join relatives in France. The immigration bill will be examined again by the full Senate on Oct. 2, and observers say senators are almost certain to follow the commission's lead and cut out the DNA amendment.

The DNA tests would have been voluntary. Proponents say such testing, which would have had a trial run until 2010, would have sped up visa processing and given immigrants a way to bolster their applications.

But even some Cabinet ministers disliked the measure, which critics say was a betrayal of France's humanitarian values.

The opposition Socialist Party said it was glad to see the amendment shot down, saying the decision was in line with the vision (the party's senators) have of France, its republican values and its image of a country of human rights, Jean-Pierre Bel, the Socialist leader in the Senate, said.

Other immigration legislation under consideration aims to ensure that immigrants joining family members here speak French and grasp French values _ to be proven with tests. Last week, French President Nicolas Sarkozy said he also wants France to adopt immigration quotas by regions of the world and by occupation.