Growing calls to extend immigration amnesty
26 April 2005, MADRID — A growing number of political parties, Catholic Church leaders and immigrant support groups are calling on the government to extend its immigration amnesty for another three months.
26 April 2005
MADRID — A growing number of political parties, Catholic Church leaders and immigrant support groups are calling on the government to extend its immigration amnesty for another three months.
The move came as Spanish labour minister Jesus Caldera estimated that "more than half a million" immigrants will benefit from the amnesty when it concludes on 7 May.
He said: "If anyone thinks that more than half a million employees is not a success, I don't know what yardstick they're using to measure things."
He said those who have benefited from the amnesty will pass from "semi-underground" economic activity to "on the books" employment with its attendant taxes and benefits.
Caldera said that the three-month process "is going very well," and he acknowledged demand for legal status had picked up as it approached its end.
He emphasised that despite the "hundreds of thousands" of requests presented, only a handful have been rejected, which means that the project was proceeding "with exceptional fairness".
Caldera said that in the "immigrant normalisation" process, as he called it, more than 470,000 applications have been received.
The programme favours those foreigners who can demonstrate they were in Spain for six continuous months last year and who have a work contract here for at least six months.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news