8 January 2004
SEVILLE – Angel Acebes, Spain’s Minister of the Interior, said Thursday illegal immigrants who commit crimes should be sent straight back to their countries.
Acebes said expulsion was the most efficient way to deal with immigrants who arrive in Spain and commit crime or are evading the immigration laws.
In a press conference in Seville Thursday, Acebes suggested that illegal immigrants should not be sent to jail for committing small crimes, but should simply be sent back to their country of origin.
His comments came after a recent change in the law governing immigration, which forces non-EU citizens to obtain visas before coming to Spain – or risk being expelled.
The law had allowed their cases to be processed once they were in Spain, but large numbers simply disappeared and worked in the so-called ‘black economy’, he said.
The new law means if illegal immigrants are expelled they will not be re-admitted to any country in the EU for ten years.
The minister stressed that the Spanish government will be “generous with legal immigration, firm with the illegal and much more firm with those who have come to commit crimes”..
Acebes said the legal system could always consider some cases on their merits.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news