Police ordered to arrest 'quota' of immigrants: report

15th February 2009, Comments 0 comments

Madrid police officers are complaining they are under pressure from their superiors to arrest a "quota" of illegal immigrants every week, Spanish media reported Sunday.

MADRID - "The Madrid police chief every week gives an order to superintendents to arrest a certain number of foreigners," the head of the police union, Alfredo Perdiguero, told Cadena Ser radio.

He said the superintendents then transmit these orders to the officers, who now "are fed up having to subject themselves to this pressure."

Madrid police headquarters would not comment on the report when contacted by AFP.

"Arresting illegal immigrants is part of our job, but we should not be under any obligation just to improve the statistics for the police headquarters," said Perdiguero.

He said the practice goes back to last October when the current Madrid police chief, Carlos Rubio, was transfered from the eastern city of Valencia, where he had imposed the same measures.

According to an internal memo from one Madrid police superintendent quoted by the Europa Press news agency, the quotas are set according to the number of residents of each police district.

The police officers are recommended to target Moroccan immigrants first as repatriating them is less costly than for those from Latin America, the memo said, according to Europa Press.

The number of immigrants in Spain rocketed from around 500,000 in 1996 to just over five million currently, or about 11 percent of the total population of 46 million.


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