The irresolute Spanish immigration policy:
Between repatriation and straight-off naturalisation
The shocking and unsustainable trend of Spanish immigration
Spanish immigration policy is probably the most incompetent and frivolous in Europe. Spain has seen its immigrants increase from a negligible quantity to some10% of the population in around ten years. You can find in this page a table with the basic data of Spanish immigration from 1995 to 2000. If we exclude immigrants from Europe, there were 250,000 immigrants in Spain in1995. In 2007, the figure had risen to around 4.5 million, of which we may estimate that one million are of European origin.
Of course, this trend is not sustainable, and that is why I felt astonished by the comment by CarnackiUK to this post:
This ties in nicely with an item on BBC Radio 4 yesterday in which a member of Spain’s Socialist government was boasting to the interviewer about the success of their mass immigration policy, and offering to share their expertise in this area with Britain and other EU countries (as if these needed any encouragement!)
The main subject of the item was actually the collapse of the birth-rate in Europe and how various countries were tackling the problem. The French for example now claim the highest birth rate as a result of various financial inducements to couples having a third child. This was contrasted with Spain which apparently now has the lowest birth-rate. A couple there would have to have 16 children to obtain the benefits on offer to French women with three children. The Spanish solution is to complacently invite ever more immigrants to replace the aging work force — it’s not that big a surprise that some of those invited are mainly interested in the work of Jihad.
I was astonished indeed to read that members of my government are boasting about the mess they have created, and that they consider a population replacement as a purposely planned policy. But, apart from outrageous, that picture is very far from reality. Immigration has been out of control in Spain; also during the Aznar years. Presenting now the case as a planned policy is a cynical exercise of deception. As a matter of fact, the current government is starting to consider a repatriation policy, in order to cope with the slowdown of economic activity — in particular construction — which will hardly affect the immigrant workers.
Government and trade unions suggest the start of a repatriation policy
The former Minister of Labour and Social Affairs, Rafael Caldera, carried out in 2005 a regularization process for illegal immigrants that officially surfaced 700,000 aliens and brought along even more as a consequence of the “come-to-Spain effect” that it created, estimated to be one million (Spanish). The official statement of the minister after the process finished is very meaningful: “This is an achievement for society and a reinforcement of the ethical commitment of the Spaniards. Today, there are many people who feel better” (Spanish). I am sure that the immigrants who could consequently enjoy Spanish social services felt much better, for the rest of us this is just progressive jargon playing on a guilt feeling that we do not experience.
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The situation is starting to change. The new minister, Celestino Corbacho, appointed after the general elections in March declared in an interview that his immigration policy would be “as many as needed, and one more” (Spanish). He added nevertheless a very meaningful condition: “but with a contract”. In another interview, he suggested a policy of encouraging repatriation (Spanish). It will be very difficult to implement it, when a nonqualified person caring for elderly people can earn in Spain more than a doctor in, for instance, Paraguay. The difficulties of a repatriation policy are analysed in Nuevo Digital (Spanish), an authoritative blog by a free-lance journalist.
Even more surprising is the change of policy by the communist trade union CC.OO., which is supposedly more radical than UGT, the socialist one. They have asked in a recent report for the control of immigration and have stated that “immigration has brought along a not very productive growth model based on low-wage manpower that has weakened social cohesion”. The report is analysed in further detail, again in this article by Nuevo Digital (Spanish). Just a few months ago they were denouncing racism, xenophobia, neoliberalism, alarmist speeches against immigration, etc… What could be the reason for this sudden change? May be the immigrants are not joining the trade unions as they expected?
On the other hand, the current leftist agenda includes granting them voting rights in local elections and speeding up the nationalisation process.
This change of policy — at this stage just suggested in interviews, but not yet made official — has made evident the schizophrenic character of the immigration policy of Spanish left. On the one hand a repatriation policy is suggested, on the other the same leftist voices propose speeding up the granting of political rights to the immigrants, including naturalisation.
In 2006, the same Minister Caldera presented a proposition in Parliament to grant voting rights in local elections to foreign legally residents. Those from EU countries and from countries with reciprocity agreements with Spain can already vote in local elections; extending the voting rights to the other countries can only be seen as a surrender and a weakness. The initiative was gently turned down, but the new minister appointed has again made a declaration favouring it: ‘if these people cannot vote, they will not care about the city they live in’.
He is a former major of a town around Barcelona with an immigrant population of 23%, and claims that integration is not complete because immigrants cannot vote and have therefore no interest in local administration. Again, one cannot avoid the feeling that our left is looking for clients among immigrants and on the other hand they are conveying the message that they are limiting it and repatriating.
Much more dangerous than granting voting rights in local elections are the proposals to grant citizenship to immigrants after a 5-year period of legal residence. The current period is 10 years, and a prudent policy would extend it to 20, or even suspend it.
It should be noted that the Spanish nation has currently three enemies. Two of them are external enemies -the European Union and Islam — the other one is the interior enemy: the secessionist movements. The European Union is only perceived as such a threat by a minority which can be estimated by the percentage of voters that rejected the Constitutional Treaty in the referendum in year 2005: 17% of the voters, out of a low voting turnover that would reduce this figure to a mere 10%. Still, the risk is there, in Mittleuropa, where it has been since Spain got involved in European affairs in the 16th Century. The other two threats are felt by a majority of Spaniards, even if the politically correct pressure has not yet let that majority express that concern. It is of the utmost importance that they are aware of the scope of the threat and that they loose the fear to express it.
It has been curious to see how all this threats support each other since 11-M. I cannot consider it just a coincidence. For instance, this strange news consisting of just a sentence, informs that the Basque regional government has requested the UE to grant voting rights to those immigrants living three years in any European country. Similarly, the Catalonian regional government has proposed to reduce from 10 to 5 years the period of legal residence needed to get Spanish nationality. Last but not least, the regional Government from Galicia has published a study stating that the regional workforce is insufficient, old and not competitive and regretting that Galicia has not benefited from the inflow of immigrants to Spain in the last years.
I want to finish with this issue, in order to show that, contrary to the information in certain comments by Afonso to some of my former posts, while the secessionist movement in Belgium — the VB — is an ally of the counterjihad, the Spanish secessionist movements have taken sides with the Islamic aggression to the former Alándalus; that is, Spain. So much they hate the only country in history that has successfully eradicated a strongly rooted and native Islam, and that has shown historically the way to deal with it.