Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Spanish amnesty

Who is responsible for determining the immigration policy of this country? Britain? Or Spain? British politicians have made many claims over how to control illegal immigration into the UK. One solution that I hadn't heard until this evening is what the Spanish are doing. They have a very neat solution, make it legal!!

Spain is currently having an amnesty for illegal immigrants who have been resident and worked there since August 2004. By obtaining Spanish residence permits, illegal immigrants become "legal" and so they can remain in Spain or travel freely throughout the rest of Europe, including Britain. Apparently, illegal immigrants are travelling from France, Germany and Italy to obtain these valuable permits!!

I don't know if the Spanish policy has been agreed with the rest of Europe or not, but it does seem to be a significant loophole in controlling Europe's borders that one nation has the power to grant an amnesty thereby circumventing all normal border controls in other countries.

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