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Legal challenge to law against foreigners

Published on 13/02/2004

13 February 2004

BILBAO – The Basque Parliament agreed Friday to lodge an appeal against a reform of a law relating to foreigners on the grounds it curbs their fundamental rights.

The regional parliament will launch the legal challenge in Constitutional Court against the Immigration Law on the grounds that it is unconstitutional.

It follows the launch of a campaign Wednesday by unions and human rights groups in Spain against a reform which was introduced by the conservative government of prime minister Jose Maria Aznar.

The reform, designed to curb the rise of illegal immigrants to Spain, gives police access to census material and obliges transport companies to disclose details of passengers they might be carrying.

It became law in December.

The groups which are opposed to the law claim it is unconstitutional and breaches foreigners’ rights under the Magna Carta.

The Basque government debated Friday a proposal to appeal sections of the law which regulate deportation, internment centres and the police access to census information.

Both the conservative Partido Popular and socialist PSE-EE parties voted against any reforms.

But PNV spokeswoman Gemma González de Txábarri, whose party has the majority in the regional parliament, pointed out that several loopholes encouraged the ombudsman  to appeal several of the law’s precepts.

Kontxi Bilbao, spokesman of the left-wing IU and EB parties, claimed it is necessary to oppose a law which offends both ethics and morals.

On the other hand, PP MP Antonio Damborenea criticised the campaign against the reform  for arriving after the change in the law had come into effect.

He added that the current reforms aim to eliminate the trafficking of humans and challenged the campaigners to name a single country in the European Union or the rest of the world where immigrants have as many rights as in Spain.
The Basque Government wants to appeal the law that considers reforming the current law on the grounds it goes against immigrants’ rights and freedoms, encourages illegal immigration and hinders autonomous, regional and local governments’ integration schemes.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news