During a day when demonstrations were carried out through all of Spain, hundreds of people marched in Madrid from Atocha to the Plaza of Tirso de Molina, where actress Pilar Bardem read a manifesto. The demonstrators, who chanted slogans like “No human being is illegal,” “All of us are immigrants” and “Throw away immigration law,” were energized by a group of drummers who also brought the march to a close.
The reform of immigration law, among other measures, planned to increase detention time in holding centers (CIE) to a period of up to sixty days for those immigrants who commit an administrative misdemeanor; reduce entry via family reunion to the spouse and children, and postpone entry for parents until they are 65 years old unless there are humanitarian reasons; and impose a fine of 10,000 Euros on those who house an immigrant.
The president of the Coordinating Committee for Associations of Ecuadorians in Spain (CONADEE), Aida Quinatoa, denounced that the government, with this proposal, “covers up those truly responsible for the economic crisis, placing the blame on immigrants.” She said that, in this respect, the economic crisis “cannot be an excuse” to approve an “unjust” law and asked that “they listen to us, that they open the doors to a true coexistence among neighbors.”
For his part, Víctor Sáez, the president of the Federation of Refugee and Immigrant Associations in Spain (FERINE), pointed out that mention of the expansion of the right to vote and the political participation of the immigrant community in Spain was “missed” in the reform, as were measures to secure the “true” settlement of immigrant families in this country.
Sara Tajuelo explained that “We are worried because all over Europe they are starting to put the blame for the current economic crisis on immigration, forgetting the true culprits: the big companies, the banks, the same ones who continue to earn millions and millions of Euros… We call for the abolition of the current immigration laws and urge working toward the unification of cultures alongside the task of overcoming inequality and economic, religious, psychological and moral violence.”
To that effect, the Convergence of Cultures and the Humanist Party, which was also present at the demonstration, have called for participation in the World March for Peace and Nonviolence, which will make a stop in Madrid on November 14. “We are supporting this demonstration just like, with everyone else, we are going to support the World March for Peace and Nonviolence, a moral march defending the rights of all human beings, more so for those that are immigrants, at this moment of injustice,” declared Tajuelo.
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*(Translation: T.M. Orzolek)*