Your question concerns the announcements of Gérald Darmanin who indicated that he wanted a constitutional revision, to eliminate land law in Mayotte. “We are going to take a radical decision, which is the inclusion of the end of land law in Mayotte in a constitutional revision that the President of the Republic will choose,” declared the Minister of the Interior upon his arrival on the island, paralyzed for three weeks by roadblocks installed by “citizen collectives” to protest against insecurity and uncontrolled immigration.
“It will no longer be possible to become French if you are not yourself the child of French parents”he added, ensuring that this “will literally cut off the attractiveness” what the Mahorais archipelago can have, faced with strong immigration from the neighboring Comoros in particular. “It is an extremely strong, clear, radical measure, which obviously will be limited to the Mayotte archipelago“, he added.
He specified that the abolition of land rights in Mayotte will make it possible to “put an end to the territorialized visa“, a system which prevents holders of a residence permit in Mayotte from coming to France and whose removal is one of the demands of citizen groups. “Since we will have many fewer residence permits and we will no longer have the possibility of being French when we come to Mayotte, territorialized visas are no longer necessary,” assured the minister.
This announced measure concerning the “right of soil” was immediately applauded by the right and the extreme right. But looking in the rearview mirror, Gérald Darmanin was not always on this line.
What did Gérald Darmanin say on the subject in 2018?
Questioned in 2018 on the subject by Jean-Marie Le Pen, Gérald Darmanin had a completely different view. “In Mayotte, they are overwhelmed by people who come from the islands trying to acquire nationality by law”launched at the time, Jean-Marie Le Pen who mentioned “an overwhelm”.
Gérard Darmanin then replied: “On immigration, you are right, we must be firm. We must not divert the asylum procedure from illegal immigration and access to our country through the right of asylum takes an infinite amount of time (.. .) The great difficulty of Mayotte is of course a question of illegal immigration which comes from the Comoros (…) There is a lot of work in Mayotte, as there is in Guyana moreover, to establish the law of the Republic. Because there are not two categories of French and not two categories of territories.”
Invited on BFMTV this Monday morning, Sabrina Agresti-Roubache came to the rescue of Gérald Darmanin’s positions, with regard to those of the RN that year. She explained that the end of land rights in Mayotte constituted “a measure which was not necessary, in fact” but “a good measure now because the world is changing”.
What does the current law say?
Since 2018 and the “Asylum and Immigration” law, there has already been an exception for land rights in Mayotte, the 101st French department plagued by massive immigration from the neighboring Comoros.
A child born in the territory can thus claim French nationality on the condition that at least one of the two parents has been in a regular and uninterrupted situation in the territory for three months before the birth.
In mainland France, a child born to foreign parents can obtain French nationality when they turn 18, if they have lived at least five years in the country since they were 11.