The French government is scrambling to meet Macron’s deadline to get migrants off the streets by the end of the year. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)
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PARIS: It's getting colder and colder, the clock is ticking and regional authorities are scrambling to meet President Emmanuel Macron's deadline: Get migrants off France's streets and out of forest hideouts by year's end. That won't likely happen, and Macron's government is now tightening the screws: ramping up expulsions, raising pressure on economic migrants and allowing divisive ID checks in emergency shelters.Critics contend that Macron's increasingly tough policy on migrants – though wrapped in a cloak of goodwill – contradicts his image as a humanist who defeated an anti-immigrant populist for the presidency, and has crossed a line passed by no other president in the land that prides itself as the cradle of human rights.No one doubts that France's system of dealing with migrants needs fixing, with a perennial housing shortage and long wait times in applying for asylum.Macron has made clear he wouldn't accept economic migrants in France, wants those who don't qualify for asylum expelled and doesn't want them even trying to come to France.In a first, a lawmaker from Macron's young party broke ranks last week with critical remarks about the direction the country is taking on the immigration issue.
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