French lawmakers approved a measure of President Emmanuel Macron\u2019s tough immigration bill that would allow authorities to double the amount of time they can detain those who have been refused asylum to up to 135 days.\r\nThe move came a day after the national assembly voted to cut the appeals process for a failed asylum bill to 15 days.\r\nThe bill has sparked rumblings of revolt with Macron\u2019s party, with several MPs openly challenging his plans to speed up deportations of failed asylum-seekers.\r\nOther aspects of the bill are scheduled for vote on Sunday.\r\nIn the run-up to\u00a0French\u00a0presidential elections back in May 2017, centrist then-candidate\u00a0Emmanuel Macron\u00a0hailed German Chancellor\u00a0Angela Merkel\u2019s open-door refugee policy as responding \u201chumanely\u201d to the refugee crisis and \u201csaving [Europe\u2019s] collective dignity\u201d.\r\nHe promised to shorten the process of asylum requests to six months and proposed making it easier to obtain a \u201ctalent visa\u201d, an option for skilled workers to find employment in France.\r\nMacron stated that France \u201cwould welcome refugees in need of protection\u201d, making specific reference to those whose lives were in jeopardy, excluding economic migrants and those without refugee status.\r\nAt the time, the French president was facing far-right candidate Marine Le Pen in the second round of the French presidential elections. Le Pen advocated an anti-immigration policy and expressed concerns over security, which helped her gain popularity.\r\nBut today, Macron seems determined to tighten French\u00a0immigration\u00a0law as the government argues that stricter controls are needed to check the rise of anti-immigration populists.\r\nFrance faced an unprecedented wave of arrivals last year. In January, the French Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless Persons (OFPRA) said it had received 100,000 applications for asylum (an increase of 17 percent) for the third year in a row, although demands fell in Europe as a whole from 1.2 million to 600,000.\r\nMeanwhile, police prevented an estimated 85,000 migrants from entering France in 2017.\r\nDespite this figure, the leader of France's right-wing Les R\u00e9publicains, Laurent Wauquiez, believes the Macron administration is not doing enough. On April 19, he said that without a change in policy, he believes France is on course to legalise "a million more immigrants" by 2022.\r\nHowever, a shortage of accommodation means many wind up\u00a0on the streets of Paris\u00a0or the northern port of Calais, a gateway to Britain, where a squalid camp known as "The Jungle" housing thousands of migrants was razed by the state in late 2016.\r\nIn February, Macron's government unveiled a bill aimed at speeding up the processing of asylum requests and the expulsion of migrants who are unable to claim asylum.\r\n"I fear that if we do not resolve the problem facing us ... others will do it without any humanity," Interior Minister G\u00e9rard Collomb said earlier in March.\r\nThe proposed bill has triggered complaints from human rights groups and a wave of street protests by civil servants in charge of asylum procedures. There have even been stirrings of opposition from\u00a0within Macron\u2019s own party, La R\u00e9publique En Marche (LREM), which up until now had been showing a united front.\r\nThe bill has also sparked controversy on both sides of the French political spectrum, with the left branding it \u201cinhumane\u201d while voices on the right have called it \u201ctoo soft\u201d.\r\nImmigration law\r\nMacron\u2019s bill is a balancing act of sorts between policing France's borders and defending refugees and their rights under international law.\r\nThe bill would cut the asylum application process to six months from the current waiting period of 11 months. Those whose cases are rejected will see the time they have to appeal against the decision halved, from 30 days to 15. The deadlines to apply for asylum will be shortened from 120 days to 90 days after a migrant\u2019s arrival in France.\r\nThis last clause looks to have Macron\u2019s fingerprints all over it, as it intends to portray the government as efficiently working on accelerating the process for \u201cdeserving\u201d asylum-seekers while cracking down on others. However, in reality, the shortened time will make it difficult for asylum-seekers to pull together a coherent case.\r\nOther measures involve allowing authorities to detain those who have been refused asylum for up to 135 days while they await deportation. The bill will also double the time for which undocumented migrants can be detained to 90 days.\r\nEntering the country without using a recognised border crossing will be made an offence punishable by up to one year in prison while the sentence for using fake identification papers will be five years.\r\nNew powers will also be given to border patrol and customs officers to carry out checks in migrant and homeless shelters.\r\nDoublespeak'\r\nFrench weekly l\u2019Obs, which supported Macron during his campaign and his first few months at the Elys\u00e9e Palace, has heavily criticised the bill. In January it published a black-and-white photo of his face wrapped in barbed wire on its cover above the words: \u201cWelcome to the country of human rights.\u201d\r\nIn a letter published in Le Monde last month, think-tank analysts and academics accused the president of using \u201cdoublespeak\u201d on migration and failing to keep his campaign promises. \u201cMr. Macron, your politics contradict the humanism that you preach,\u201d wrote the signatories, which included Jean Pisani-Ferry, the economist who put together Macron\u2019s economic programme.\r\nMacron recently defended the country\u2019s tough new asylum laws in a\u00a0televised interview\u00a0with Edwy Plenel of the investigative website Mediapart and Jean-Jacques Bourdin of RMC radio, timed to mark his first year in office.\r\n\u201cFrance cannot take in all the misery of the world," he said.