Prime minister: France to 'take back control' on migration

France's prime minister says the country needs to "take back control" of how it deals with immigration

"The overall sense of our action is sovereignty," Philippe said in a speech, echoing a term used by the far right. "We have to take back control of our migration policy."

The new measures include what amounts to soft quotas for economic migrants, fixing the numbers of immigrants according to job needs in various professions.

He and others in the government described the new approach as "coherent and balanced."

The centrist government's shift to the right has provoked ire from the left, as President Emmanuel Macron has been accused of cynically trying to fend off the appeal of the far right ahead of 2020's municipal elections.

The elections next year will help parties lay the groundwork for the 2022 presidential vote. It is widely assumed that Macron will face off against far-right leader Marine Le Pen, whom he defeated in the presidential runoff in 2017.

Nicolas Dupoint-Aignan of the far-right party Stand Up France called the measures "limited."

"The French will quickly understand that this is communication," he said.

That never happened and migrant encampments have become increasingly visible in the capital. Police were to clear several thousand people early Thursday from a northern Paris neighborhood where migrants have repeatedly been removed. They will be taken to shelters.

The prime minister said that this time, the government will follow through on its decisions.

"When we say 'yes,' it is really 'yes. When we say 'no,' it is really no," he said.