Laigle’s Forum translation of a paper by HO HazteOir.org
The Active Citizen’s Website in Spain
(The original Spanish-language article is a PDF file available at their site. Or click here to view it)
Spain has been a country of immigration over the last decade. However, following the measures taken by the government of José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, Spain has become the main port of entry for illegal immigration in Europe, putting the achievements of the Schengen Agreement at risk. The results of the “call effect” produced by Zapatero’s demagoguery is evident. Today, Spain has ca. three million immigrants, one million of which are illegal but are soon to be legalized. This will be followed by the reuniting of families. Meanwhile, the people involved are victims of deceit; Spaniards are victims of the disloyalty of the government, which rewards illegal behavior; and the member countries of the European Union (EU) fear an avalanche of uncontrolled immigration triggered by Zapatero.
Zapatero Unleashes the “Call Effect.” Warning Voices in Spain and Europe
One year ago, the minister of labor and social affairs, Jesús Caldera, headed up the biggest legalization operation of illegal immigrants ever seen in Spain, with the passage of the new Immigration Code. Pursuing the idea of “papers for everyone,” Zapatero’s Spanish Socialist Labor Party (PSOE) had already nurtured in his years of opposition to the Popular Party (PP), Caldera legalized hundreds of thousands of illegals, ensuring that the law would be enforced later to avoid illegality. Twelve months later, official statistics are already confirming that there are more than one million foreigners without papers among us. Like Zapatero, Caldera has also denied the existence of the “call effect.”
Despite the politically correct discourse, the message sent was “open doors,” “papers for everyone.” Something like saying: “Break the law and sneak across the border and I’ll reward you with Spanish and European documentation.”
The data will not go away: Spain is the port of entry for illegal immigration in Europe. And not only conspicuous immigration in small boats and canoes, because that only accounts for 2-3% of the total illegal immigration arriving daily to our country. There is another silent but much more numerous immigration arriving in buses across the Pyrenees, particularly through La Junquera, or by air, notably with Barajas as the destination.
Ultimately, Spanish immigration law refers to the pattern of roots, meaning that if a person is in Spain illegally for two years and at the end of these two years, presents a labor contract, he is legalized. This means that many of the immigrants come to Spain legally as “tourists,” and then lay low until these two years are up, after which they show a contract. Spain is the only country in the EU that grants this opportunity to illegals, one of the major causes of the “call effect.”
From the standpoint of the European Union, the situation caused by Zapatero and his “call effect” is incomprehensible. With these legalizations, Zapatero has made Spain and Europe a house with two doors, one with a foolproof lock, secure video system and metal detector, and the other open wide or with an ordinary lock that anyone can pick. The application of the Schengen Agreement by the signatory countries could put the Spanish government in a very precarious position.
In fact, it’s been many years since any European country has practiced the Zapatero-style legalizations. France, for example, a country with an immigration tradition, has not been “giving out papers” for thirteen years, and Italy implemented legalization in 2001 but only for children and grandchildren of Italian citizens.
Zapatero and Caldera never expected the protests made by our European members, who have accused the Spanish government of having created “an inflammatory precedent for all of Europe.” Thus, Zapatero and his minister Caldera did not care and do not care today that the immigrants legalized by Spain wind up settling in other EU countries. Neither Zapatero nor Caldera seem to care that the “call effect” caused by a single irresponsible government winds up affecting all of the rest. This is social and political non-solidarity and irresponsibility.
Aftermath of Legalization and “Call Effect”
At the beginning of 2005, there were 1,350,000 undocumented foreigners in Spain.
In compliance with the new Immigration Code passed on December 30, 2004, some 700,000 foreigners were legalized (for the sixth time in the last 20 years) in Spain between February 7 and May 7 of 2005. Hence, some 650,000 illegals remained in May of 2005.
Today, one year later, there are again nearly one million persons living illegally in Spain, according to the Secretariat of Immigration and the Census: The 650,000 who were already here plus those who are not even registered in the census (between 100,000 and 150,000), who have entered Spain illegally over the last twelve months (the National Institute of Statistics estimates the number of non-EU foreigners arriving in our country at half a million annually).
Further, there will be another indirect and automatic legalization, namely, that of 200,000 illegal Romanian immigrants following the foreseeable entry of Romania into the EU next January 1. The total number of Romanians in Spain is somewhat more than twice that, almost 1% of the Spanish population, and they are arriving in Spain at the rate of 80,000-100,000 per year. Within a few months, they will be legalized as EU citizens without filing any application. The effect is felt not only by Spain. The entry into the EU entitles them to live in any other country of the Union.
And the “call effect” is not only for immigrants. With Zapatero, the mafias linked to immigration and immigrant exploitation have found a paradise in Spain. These mafias treat the immigrants like silent slaves, and the “call effect” is a whole governmental propaganda network that inadvertently favors anyone who traffics in human beings.
Zapatero’s Reaction After Causing the Call Effect
Zapatero doesn’t want to hear about the “call effect.” As if banning any opposition to it would make it disappear.
Such is the extent of Zapatero’s denial of the “call effect” that his government, via the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Miguel Angel Miguel Ángel Moratinos, and via Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba, the spokesman of the socialist parliamentary group in Congress, lied when he denied that the government had received a report dated December 2005 that warned of the mass casualties of immigrants from Mauritania. It took some powerful movers in the press to budge the Zapatero government.
In March, there were mass arrivals of immigrants to the Canary Islands. But never as many as on May 11, when 456 illegal immigrants arrived by canoe. On the fifteenth, only four days later, another 647 “undocumented” landed again all at once. Fear of a tarnished government image prompted the socialist government, within a matter of hours, to call an urgent meeting in La Moncloa, approve the bombastic Africa Plan and call for European services and aid…after having ignored the recommendations of its fellow members and Brussels.
The Africa Plan consists of “more control and alertness, more diplomatic cooperation, more humanitarian aid and more Europe.”
In the internal plan, the government claims to have beefed up military air-sea assets existing in the region of the Canaries and to have increased the resources of intelligence services, services it ignored when they warned the government of the deaths of thousands of immigrants in the Atlantic, a tragedy about which the Minister of the Interior, Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba, lied once again.
In the bilateral plan, the government claims to have deployed joint sea patrols with Morocco and Mauritania, approved others with Nigeria, Niger and Guinea Bissau, and increased the diplomatic presence, creating or reinforcing offices of various types in Mali, Sudan and Cape Verde, Ethiopia and Mali, Angola, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal and South Africa. They also claim to be activating repatriations, although the Spanish government’s intention and the real possibility of implementing these are two different things, given that the national origins of most of the immigrants to be repatriated cannot be demonstrated and the country in question refuses to accept them.
With regard to the EU, the government has applied for “logistical support” to the European Agency of External Border Control of the EU and has tried to explain this Africa Plan in Brussels to the president of the European Commission and to various Commissioners. In so doing, the government is hoping the EU will deploy naval and air assets to control the arrival of illegal immigrants from Africa.
That the vice president of the Spanish government should point out that the problem is part of European policy is a show of amazing cynicism, because the problem for Europe has been created or aggravated by the Zapatero government. Thus, Zapatero intends to involve Europe in the solution of a problem aggravated by Spain. Does Zapatero believe that the European powers will be manipulated by his good words and bad deeds?
The Spanish government has announced an increase in aid to NGOs (non-governmental organizations) operating in the Canaries and has approved a Royal Decree that regulates the direct concession of subsidies to social service organizations for services to immigrants in a vulnerable situation who arrive at the Canaries, the autonomous government of which has demanded priority attention from the government and has demanded that illegal immigration be declared a State problem.
These measures look impressive but are little more than cosmetic. Zapatero denies the “call effect” and all of its consequences to the public. To make matters worse, his government is only taking steps against illegal immigration from Africa. Zapatero is not saying or doing anything with regard to the masses of immigrants arriving daily by land and air from the rest of the world.
Meanwhile, Zapatero’s government calls those who defend the dignity of immigrants and any other human being, the creation of fair laws and their enforcement, and generous rationality as a model for any immigration policy racists and xenophobes.
European Rejection Following the “Call Effect”
In Spain, sociological research reveals that immigration is, after unemployment, the main concern of citizens. It is an issue that must be treated with honesty and fairness as the best guarantee of the rights of immigrants and the citizenry of countries hosting them, in the interest of good integration and coexistence.
Two French ministers of the interior, the now Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin and Nicolas Sarkozy, have publicly expressed their reservations about the hazardousness of the legalizations undertaken by the Spanish (and Italian) government “because they produce a call effect.” Before a commission of the French senate, Sarkozy said that “The Italian authorities have legalized 700,000 clandestine workers on the basis of labor contracts in 2002, and the Spanish have legalized 600,000 this year.” Moreover, the French government communicated this extreme to the Zapatero presidency, because a goodly portion of the nearly 100,000 illegal immigrants entering France every year, according to Sarkozy, do so from Spain.
Germany and Holland have also been sharp in their criticism of the negligence and major lack of solidarity on the part of Spain in the legalization of illegal immigrants, in making unilateral decisions that, while they are national responsibility, should not be made without consulting member countries. Both countries have introduced restrictive laws as a stop gap in dealing with the problem and have urged Spain to follow their example.
Following the French and German criticism of the Spanish actions, Friso Roscam, spokesman of Franco Frattini, vice president of the European Commission, stated that the legalization of immigrants without papers by the Spanish government contributes to the “call effect” bringing in more illegal foreigners, and is a bad example for Europe.
The European Commission and the Luxembourg presidency of the EU decided to initiate the creation of an information and prior notice system to advise on important decisions on immigration such as Zapatero’s plans to legalize illegals, which subvert the interests of the entire Union. This matter is being studied by the Minister of Justice and the Minister of the Interior.
The Commission recalled that the Twenty-Five must follow a “global approach that covers all stages of the immigration process, in consideration of their deeper causes and the policies of entrance, admission, integration and repatriation, if necessary.”
The EU does not oppose the legalization of illegal immigrants but requires that this process “be harmonized and based on the same criteria for the granting of resident permits and with the same obligations associated with these permits.”
Consequences of the “call effect” are saturation of the public and private – particularly Catholic – receiving facilities and the public health system, the health risk, the overburdening of the security forces, the loss of respect for these forces and for the law on the part of immigrants, who do not flee the police force but rather seek it out so as to be detained and start the process of obtaining “papers,” and also the social alarm. The latter aspect, of maximum urgency, is motivated by matters such as the associated organized crime and terrorism.
Lack of Loyalty and Enforcement
According to the report “La Exclusión Social y el Estado de Bienestar en España” [Social Exclusion and the Welfare State in Spain], prepared by the Employee Home Foundation (FUHEM), Spain is below the European mean with regard to inclusion policies. Worse, it increases the lack of solidarity in Spain and requires the development of a National Inclusion Plan within the framework of real social policy.
The lack of social integration programs is blatant (because, for one thing, the PSOE does not recognize any cultural value in integrating immigrants). Zapatero has irresponsibly triggered a wave of immigration without stopping to think for a moment about the fate to be suffered by hundreds of thousands of desperate people.
Repatriations are not being carried out even when they are possible, and on the islands and throughout Spain, unprecedented tension is building up. The masses of immigrants that have recently arrived are not finding the paradise they expected. The “Caldera Law” created a false illusion for them and for Canarian citizens, essentially a problem that cannot be resolved.
The first vice president of the government, María Teresa Fernández de la Vega, stated that “anyone who comes here illegally will leave.” This is not the case. It is not always possible to repatriate all of the known illegals we have here in Spain. The cost of this lack of enforcement is being borne by the immigrants and, of course, by those who have no responsibility: the autonomous communities, the district councils and the citizenry in general.
An example of the abandonment of immigrants to their fate once they are repatriated, with no guarantee, was the case of the immigrants expelled by Morocco in the dessert without food or water after they were returned by Spain. Possibly because they did not want to irritate Sultan Mohamed VI and because they did not deem the fate of hundreds of human beings the concern of our government, Zapatero neither complained nor demanded specific humanitarian guarantees for these repatriated citizens.
The misfortunes of immigrants are no concern of this government. The Spanish Socialist Worker Party lied in the person of Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba, and the government lied in the person of its Minister of Foreign Affairs when they denied having information on the massive tragic deaths at sea.
We Spaniards wonder why Zapatero does not meet his obligations. That is, why he fails to impede the undocumented immigrants, expel illegals, support civil society in humanitarian care, and guarantee immigrants decent treatment. Once again, Zapatero is headed in one direction and the citizens in the other.
Despite the fact that this extraordinary legalization caused some underground workers to emerge, more than half of illegals are estimated to have remained in the same situation, and added to these are new influxes of illegals.
The “call effect” and the treatment this government is giving to immigration manipulates immigrants, the first to be hurt, and is unfair to Spaniards and to the European Union, particularly those countries who share the Schengen space with Spain.
Thanks to the call effect:
? an illusion has been created without the political will or ability to deal with it in real terms;
? sooner or later, immigrants will be blackmailed with the fear of: “Either vote for me or be booted out”;
? spontaneous natural immigration has multiplied;
? a deaf ear is being turned to warnings from other member countries and from the EU at large, and yet the government complains to them;
? many immigrants will easily migrate from Spain to other Schengen countries, where they think they can live better.
The result of the Spanish campaign of extraordinary legalization of illegal immigrants shows that the Zapatero government is incapable of producing legal immigration that satisfies Spain’s real needs in harmony with the needs of Europe.
All of this is the fruit of Zapatero’s populist demagoguery, the absolutely laxity of his government toward illegal immigration and illegal hiring of these illegal immigrants, and the government’s inability to create and regulate the necessary legal immigration.
The situation of illegal immigrants in Spain is deteriorating day by day from a political, economic, social and health standpoint, because the services of the State, many of them dispensed via autonomic mechanisms, are overburdened. Even private humanitarian aid services provided by organizations of the Catholic Church, whose financing the government is trying to hobble, are making remarkable efforts to provide decent care for this group. Even the legalization process is stalled, causing a backup in the processing of thousands and thousands of applications for legalization. A real social powder keg.
This state of affairs requires an immediate response on the part of the government. Illegal immigration must be reduced or stopped and legal immigration must be managed according to the real demand for immigrants in this country.
HazteOir.org is no advocate of shutting down the borders. That would be out of step and, more to the point, impossible. HazteOir.org defends immigrants’ rights to come here but under decent conditions acceptable both to them and to their hosts. HazteOir.org advocates the development of policies for integrating immigrants in the Spanish culture and tradition. What HazteOir.org rejects is the actions of this government, which promote illegal immigration that is bad for immigrants and their countries of origin, bad for Spain and bad for Europe.
Let’s not put gates around our country. Let’s try to cooperate with the development of countries that send immigrants. Securing borders is necessary, but that alone would be no more than a stop gap measure. Something more is needed to deal with illegal immigration, and Zapatero is not doing it. To the contrary, sending ten or so diplomats on a trip is not sufficient to satisfy basic needs, particularly because it keeps open the invitation to cheat. The “call effect” persists. Legalizations like those carried out by this government only prompt xenophobic and racist reactions. The manipulation of desperate people is a blow to their dignity, and Zapatero’s policy is dehumanizing to immigrants. Showing concern for true integration is much more than giving out “papers.” Mr. Zapatero: No more “papers” in exchange for lives…and votes.
References on the Web [Please see the original document at HazteOir.org for these references. These are translations of the titles. If you find your curiosity piqued about any of these, write to email@example.com. I will try to give you the gist.—Don]
The government approves the Africa Plan and asks the EU for logistic help to slow down illegal immigration. New record in the Canaries: 647 “undocumented” in one day
The arrival of 647 “undocumented” immigrants to the Canaries yesterday in 9 canoes marks a new record
Six canoes with 456 undocumented immigrants onboard arrive at the coasts of Tenerife
Brussels believes legalizations like those of Spain contribute to the “call effect” of more illegals
Canoes arrive at Caldera’s call
The Canary Islands are drowning in the “call effect”
Acebes charges that the “call effect” of immigration is caused by Zapatero’s “irresponsible” policy
He says that it is creating a “call effect.” France toughens its laws against illegal immigration and criticizes the legalizations in Spain and Italy
More than 970 undocumented arrive. De la Vega, Caldera and Rubalcaba meet today in the wake of criticism over the wave of “undocumented”
The promised measures are not enforced. The Canaries criticize the government’s “recklessness” in the face of a new mass influx of immigrants
259 “undocumented” reach the coasts of Tenerife in 15 hours. Massive arrival of immigrants on the anniversary of the government’s legalization process
400,000 Romanian immigrants will have papers in eight months
The gap between the two shores multiplies
The force of the greatest human tide on the planet
The ministry of the interior exposes Moratinos and Rubalcaba, stating that the tide of boats from Mauritania “is not from three months ago”
Spain’s search for legal immigration
A report warns that the Spanish state is dead last in Europe in social inclusion
New version of the immigration code passed on December 30, 2004
General information on the legalization process
Immigration law and the Schengen Agreement
Germany and Holland blame Spain for not consulting on the legalization of immigrants
Schengen Agreement and agreement on application of the Schengen Agreement
Membership protocol of June 25, 1991
V FUHEM report on social policies and welfare state
Appeals of immigrants jam Immigration