Spain to extend holding time for illegal immigrants

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The interior ministry is considering extending holding time but does not expect it to reach the six-month limit proposed by EU.

9 May 2008

MADRID - Spain will lengthen the time it can hold illegal immigrants before it must either deport or free them, but it is not considering reaching the six-month limit proposed by draft EU legislation currently being debated in the European Parliament, Interior Minister Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba said Thursday.

Rubalcaba noted that one of his Socialist Party's proposals in the recent election campaign was to extend the internment period for undocumented immigrants beyond the current 40 days - reportedly to as many as 60 days.

However, he said he does not expect it to reach the six months that the EU proposal to harmonise deportation proceedings could allow.

The interior minister said the EU proposal would not restrict the rights illegal immigrants receive under Spanish law.
In 2007, the ministry repatriated 46,471 of the 50,318 immigrants that were intercepted trying to enter the country illegally.

[El Pais / Expatica]

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