15 December 2003
MADRID- A tough new law on illegal immigrants will make it easier to deport them from Spain, it was reported Monday.
The new Immigration Law, which came into effect this month, will also force anyone who is coming to Spain from a non-European Union country to apply for a visa before they arrive.
Visa-holders will also have the right to a residence and work permit. The government has also created a three-month temporary permit in order to allow people to search for work.
The new law was agreed by both the ruling right-wing PP and the opposition social-democratic PSOE and comes amid rising concern about illegal immigration to Spain, mainly from countries like Morocco.
More than 100 illegal immigrants have been killed this year trying to reach Spanish shores.
They usually arrive at the Spanish mainland in small dinghies from Morocco’s Mediterranean coast or are picked up in the Canary Isles after journeying from Morocco’s the Atlantic coast.
In October, 37 people were drowned off the coast of Cádiz, when a boat capsized in heavy seas. An investigation found that Guardia Civil patrol boats failed to reach the dinghy in time to save them.
According to official figures, between January and November this year, almost 18,000 illegal immigrants were detained before reaching Spanish soil.
Spain and Morocco reached an agreement to allow illegal immigrants to be re-admitted to Morocco. The two countries had been trying to reach an agreement since 1992.
The King of Morocco announced the creation of a special police force to fight against organised people trafficking gangs.
Angel Acebes, Spain’s Interior Minister, and his Moroccan counterpart, Mustafa Sahel, have agreed to establish a permanent body to cooperate in the fight against the trafficking of human beings.
The two countries have also agreed to repatriate Moroccan minors who reside illegally in Spain.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news