Loueila Mint has been practising as a lawyer in the Canary Islands and has been in Spain since she was 8 years old, and the State Attorney’s Office claims “lack of integration” in order to grant her Spanish nationality. She has denounced this on social networks and has given Pressenza this statement, which we also transcribe below.
My name is Loueila, known as Lala to my family. I denounced a few days ago on Twitter a circumstance that, although it may seem individualised and towards me, it is not. It is something totally collective that not only affects Sahrawi people living in national territory but also many migrants.
In 2015, the regulations were modified so that Spanish nationality by residence applications would not suffer the backlog that they had been suffering, and the administration would answer and resolve the same application within a year.
Since 2017, I submitted my file for Spanish nationality by residence after a year of finishing my studies as a graduate in Law at the University of La Laguna, in Santa Cruz de Tenerife. In 2018 I was confronted with reality. After having taken an entrance exam to the legal profession and a master’s degree with the same Ministry of Justice, I spent six months suffering in a discriminatory way compared to my classmates and my friends in my career. The same Ministry of Justice, which had allowed me to take the exam, did not understand Loueila Mint El Mamy – to call me that – exactly what I was asking of them. In fact, I have replies from the Ministry of Justice, in which they thought that, by calling me Loueila Mint El Mamy, what I was asking for was a homologation of my degree and not a dispensation to be able to practise as a lawyer.
Currently, in order to be able to practise as a lawyer, I have had to ask them for permission because they have not resolved my Spanish nationality file since 2017, when the regulations establish one year for the resolution. After that time, it is understood that it is a negative silence and, therefore, a presumed refusal.
In 2020, specifically in September, a year and a month ago, I filed a contentious-administrative appeal before the Contentious-Administrative Chamber of the National High Court so that they would provide me with my Spanish nationality file, so that they would tell me if I needed any documentation in that file because they had not yet answered me, and all the damages that they were causing me as a lawyer who was part of the practice within the Administration of Justice.
It was not enough because I am still waiting for a year and a month for a reply from the Lawyers’ Office. It has been insulting to my intelligence to say the least. And they answered me in July, but they notified me in September. It is that reply that I posted on Twitter, in which they say that I have not accredited sufficient social integration, that I have not accredited legal permanence or roots. From the first minute, in which I allow the Administration to verify my criminal record, it is logically and reasonably understood, just as with my exemption from Spanish nationality as a practising lawyer, that I do not have a criminal record. That is why I am working as a lawyer in the field of the Administration of Justice. From minute two, when I provide my residence card, I am proving that I have been legally resident in the territory for more than 20 years, specifically 23 years. And from the moment I present my law degree from the University of La Laguna and my Master’s degree in access to the legal profession from the University of La Laguna, I have ample proof of my integration.
At present, the Ministry of Justice requires this integration through exams, which are constitutional exams, which obviously when I have already passed administrative law, constitutional law, procedural law, civil law, criminal law and a long etc., it is understood that I have been fully accredited. It is understood that my integration into the Spanish state has been amply accredited.