The body that rules on the constitutionality of French laws threw out an article in the new immigration measure that would have allowed the collection of data on ethnic origin in relation to French diversity. However, the Constitutional Council approved a controversial amendment allowing for DNA testing of immigrants’ offspring. The council ruled that the DNA tests, which are voluntary and meant to ensure authentic family ties, must be limited to establishing a direct link with the mother. The immigration bill bas passed by lawmakers on October 23rd, and will take effect once President Sarkozy signs and published it in the official register – expected sometime in the next few weeks.
Researchers are concerned about the impact of their work on censorship, and the article on ethnic statistics included in the _Hortefeux’ law. The decision by the Constitutional Council to censure the article on ethnic statistics has frustrated researchers, approaching topics of discrimination with great hesitation, and concern about the effects of forensic investigations relating to the origins of people. Numerous concerns abound: are these kinds of investigations illegal, by referencing people to skin color and race? How many of us think about our own skin tone, or the skin tone of others on a daily basis, and is it really relevant to how we associate with people around us? Researches conclude that, while this information may be gathered in investigations about people, that they are only a few elements among others, in the greater goal to understand the situations of people.