What happened last Friday at the Melilla border is the consequence of a dehumanizing migration policy

  • The Jesuits deeply regret the lives lost in Nador last Friday and call for the need for safe and legal avenues of access to protection.
  • Jesuit Migrant Service lawyers are providing legal assistance to some of the people who have arrived in Melilla and whose return proceedings have been stalled because they have expressed their intention to apply for international protection. 
  • Entreculturas and Alboan work in alliance with local organizations that assists migrant people in transit in Nador and Tñanger, as well as in many origin countries. 
  • We denounce that these events happen as the consequence of a single perspective of security and tight control at the border, where there is a lack of humanitarian assistance and serious human rights violations. 

Madrid/Melilla, Monday 27th June, 2022. The social works of the Company of Jesus working on the southern border deeply regret the death of, according to figures from the Moroccan authorities, at least 23 people when they tried to jump the fence in the Barrio Chino area of Melilla on Friday 24th June. In the images recorded on the Moroccan side of the border, we can see the harshness of the police and inhumane treatment to repel this attempted access, worrying facts that may involve human rights violations. 

On the other hand, as has happened in previous similar situations, on the Spanish side of the border there have been rejections of injured people, some of whom could be minors, all of whom are more than likely to be in need of international protection. The Jesuit Migrant Service, Entreculturas and Alboan demand that the Spanish Government use diplomatic channels to ensure that the Moroccan authorities open a rigorous investigation to clarify the circumstances in which there people lost their lives at the border, as well as to identify the deceased and inform their families. 

What happened at the Melilla border is the consequence of an inhumane and irresponsible migration and border management policy. The insufficiency of sage and effective legal channels to access European territory and international protection forces people fleeing situations of conflict, violence of lack of livelihoods to put their lives and physical integrity at risk. And in this context, what we see are situations of excessive harshness on the part of the authorities that sadly lead to numerous violations of rights and, on occasion, deaths. Unfortunately, at the border, the security perspective prevails over the humanitarian one. 

SJM’s legal team is working to accompany and provide legal assistance to some of the young people who managed to arrive at the CETI in Melilla last Friday, whose request for international protection is being respected and is currently being processed. This means that any refoulement proceedings that have been initiated have been halted. Most of the young people come from Sudan, a country immersed in a serious social crisis and with high rates of recognition of protection by Spain. It is necessary to remember that the CETI is not a police facility and that people there should not be deprived of their liberty. 

Entreculturas, Alboan and SJM call for a review of European foreign policies. The diversion of cooperation funds for migration control must end immediately and the new European Pact on Migration and Asylum must be more protective of the rights of migrants and refugees. We also demand greater consistency from the Spanish Government with the provisions of the draft Cooperation Law, which includes the objective of “promoting a comprehensive approach to migration focused on people and their rights”. 

After years of work in this Southern border, one of the most unequal in the world, what is at stake in this crisis is consistency with European values and principles, as well as our ability to build a fair, peaceful and sustainable future that will only be possible under democratic principles and guaranteed rights. 

YOU CAN READ HERE THE FULL ARTICLE (SPANISH)

Analysis of the proposal for the reform of the Immigration Regulation

In the Council of Ministers of 31st May 2022, it was agreed to authorize the Ministry of Inclusion, Social Security and Migration to urgently process a draft Royal Decree amending the Immigration Regulation. Urgent processing implies dispensing with some procedures (such as public consultation) and the reduction of deadlines for others, such as public information. 

On Friday 3rd June, the public hearing and information period was opened to collect contributions from civil society for 7 working days, until Monday 13rd June. A draft Royal Decree modifying 18 articles of the Immigration Regulation was submitted for public information, accompanied by the Regulatory Impact Analysis Report. 

4 KEY IDEAS OF SJM’S POSITION ON THE REFORM:

  • Many people remain outside the regulation: the utilitarian nature of the proposals leaves out the reality of forced migration. Furthermore, it does not put an end to the precariousness that exists in these sectors, it ignores elements of social inclusion that are not aimed at employment and it does not consider the lack of protection that is generated during the administrative processing times. 
  • It attempts to establish simpler and more agile immigration procedures, although with insufficient measures to allow for improvements in the short term. 
  • It broadens and makes the figures of “arraigo” (rootedness) more flexible, eliminating some barriers and creating a new figure of regularization.
  • It generates longer and more sustainable recruitment itineraries at origin for legal and safe migration, albeit circular – focused on employment and with an obligation to return to the country of origin. 

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World Refugee Day: Hospitality Yes, Hospitality Always

(Text originally published in Papeles nº 262, April 2022, of Cristianisme i Justicia. Authors: Mª Carmen de la Fuente, SJM coordinator, and Santi Torres, president of the Migra Studium board of trustees). 

More than 100 million people in the worls have been forced to flee their homes for various reasons: wars, conflicts, violence, climate change, scarcity of resources, impoverishment… On world Refugee Day, 20th June, we call for Hospitality as way to act in the face of this reality. 

Some things are beyond our reach, especially now, but it is within our reach to listen and be very attentive to the reality that is reaching us. And this reality asks us to be at the side of the people, to get close to those who are suffering and to do so urgently, providing the necessary help for those who have to leave their homes without knowing if they will be able to return. But not only this: we must go further, as did the Good Samaritan who, after healing the wounds of the needy person he met on the road, took care of him (Lc 10, 25-37). We too must find ways to offer Hospitality… always. 

FULL TEXT HERE (Cristianismo I Justicia website).

Paths of Hospitality, Paths of Peace.

Once again this year, the Paths of Hospitality initiative is underway. In 2022, when the world is still recovering from the effects of the pandemic, a war is once again taking place in Europe. In this context, we can see how the culture of hospitality, solidarity and welcome is more necessary than ever to offer protective responses to those fleeing violence, lack of resources or the climate change. The cases of Ukraine, but also of ongoing and forgotten conflicts such as Syria, Yemen, Ethiopia and many others, challenge us to respond to this situation. 

This year, Paths of Hospitality are Paths of Peace. Through this symbolic mobilization that is being organized in many places in Spain, we raise our voices to demand a culture of Hospitality and peace, as the only possible way for harmonious and enriching coexistence between different religions and cultures. 

This 2022 the Paths of Hospitality initiative will be extended in time. While in previous years the activities were centred around the International Day of Refugees (20th June), it is proposed to extend the timeframe to allow the walks to take place at different times of the year, taking advantage of the appeal of different symbolic dates. We therefore invite you to walk this year also around the World Day of Migrants and Refugees (25thSeptember), promoted by Pope Francis with the motto ‘Building the future with migrants and refugees’, as well as on the date of the International Day of Migrants (18th December). 

On the initiative’s website you can access all the information about this action. In addition, participants are encouraged to share and send photos and testimonials with the hastag #SumaTuCamino (#AddYourWay) on social networks or by email to contacto@hospitalidad.es in order to become aware of the hospitality network that together we make up.

VISIT THE PATHS OF HOSPITALITY 2022 WEBSITE (IN 4 LANGUAGES)

CIE 2021 Report, ‘Hostile Territory’

‘On 6th June we presented in the Spanish Senate our CIE 2021 Report “Hostile territory: different forms of hostility in the CIE”, where we analyse the situations and conditions in these centres over the last year. The event was moderated by Mª Carmen De La Fuente, coordinator of SJM, Ana Bosch from Pueblos Unidos and author of the report, Elena Davara as a volunteer from the CIE visiting team in Madrid, Josetxo Ordóñez from Migra Studium and author of the report, and Josep Buades (Director of the Claver-SJM Association) as the main author of the report. 

This has been a year marked by strict Covid-19 protocols that have led to difficult isolation for the people held in these centres, with serious consequences for their mental health, as well as deficient health care. This lack of optimal medical resources can be seen not only in terms of the pandemic but also in terms of the lack of privacy for patients or the scarcity of health resources to attend the people and, in addition, a lack of attention to mental health problems, aggravated in most cases by confinement and poor conditions. 

In this report, we focus our attention and our denunciation on three forms of hostility in CIEs in the year 2021:

  • Obstacles to the reporting and investigation of police assaults.
  • Deficiencias in medical and health care.
  • Obstacles to visits by social organizations.

All these hostilities lead to untenable situations for the migrants held in the centres, whose rights are violated every day they are locked up in unhealthy and inhumane conditions. 

In addition, many of these people detained in CIEs are adolescents whose age is not determined because their documentation from their place of origin is not accredited, with medical tests prevailing (which leads to a long period of time licked up in CIEs with uncertainty and worsening their physical and mental situation), in violation of the right to equality and non-discrimination before the law based on the best interests of the minor.

Social organisations are primarily concerned with the closure of the CIEs. Given the current improbability of their disappearance, as demonstrated by the construction of a new centre in Algeciras, we are in a constant struggle for the improvement of the conditions of these centres and we offer a humane accompaniment to the people interned, although subject to moments of possible restrictions. 

YOU CAN SEE THE FULL PRESENTATION OF THE REPORT IN THIS LINK.

DOWNLOAD THE FULL CIE 2021 REPORT VIA THIS LINK (SPANISH).

DOWNLOAD HERE THE SHORT VERSION IN ENGLISH.

We welcome the reform if the Immigration Regulation that will improve the lives of children and young people who migrate by themselves

The Regulation approved today by the Council of Ministers will benefit many children and young people who have been suffering for years the terrible consequences in their lives of a regulation that only placed insurmountable obstacle and barriers to their social integration in Spain. 

Organizations defending the rights of migrant children and youth consider today’s decision by the Council of Ministers to approve the reform on the Immigration Regulation, in relation with many of the articles that affect them, to be a historic step towards to the inclusion of children arriving by themselves in Spain. 

The approval of today’s reform by the Council of Ministers will benefit thousands of young people, who have been suffering for years the terrible consequences in their lives of a regulation that only placed insurmountable obstacles and barriers to their integration, especially in their transition to adulthood. 

Dozens of organizations and groups specialized in children’s and migrant’s rights have been denouncing for years the abusive conditions of a regulation that has led to the administrative irregularity and social exclusion of thousands of adolescents and young people who, on the other hand, are recognized by the Immigration Lax as being regular for all purposes. 

With today’s Reform as it was proposed in its las version in August, and pending the final text to be published in the Official State Gazette, the aim is to respond to the real needs of migrant children, mainly in their transition to adult life, facilitating the development of their life project in Spain and ultimately favoring their lasting and effective integration into our society, taking into account their conditions of special vulnerability, due to their status as immigrants. 

CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL SOCIAL ORGANIZATIONS COMMUNICATES.

Lumen VII Report: Working on the margins

Today, employment is undoubtedly one of the main drivers for subsistence and to guarantee the living conditions of any person, including the migrant groups. A job, when it is decent, has the capacity to generate sufficient incomes to cover our needs, but not just that, but it is one of the best tools for social inclusion and participation that exist. 

In our daily work we see the hopes that migrant people have when it comes to finding a decent job, but also the pressures and expectations that weigh on their migratory project. Factors such as administrative irregularity, precarious and informal sectors, abusive conditions or the lack of protection by the administrations push these groups to work, on many occasions, on the margins. 

In this Lumen VIII Report, entitled ‘Working on the margins, informal employment and migration’, we want to approach informality in employment in Spain, analyzing different faces that remain at the migrants of rights, the sectors where informality and its consequences are most relevant, and the work of the entities of the SJM network, through the employment of the San Juan del Castillo Foundation and the training and employment area of its Pueblos Unidos y Padre Rubio centers. These organizations focus on these margins, accompanying, serving and defending where other administrations and organizations do not reach. 

YOU CAN DOWNLOAD THE LUMEN VIII REPORT HERE.

We have published a Practical Guide with the keys to processing residence and work permits for minors under guardianship and young migrants who were formerly under guardianship.

The reform of the Immigration Regulation of November 2021, with the entry into effect of Royal Decree 903/2021, has marked a turning point in the legal regulation of young people migrant alone to Spain. The previous regulations set out requirements that most young people were not able to meet, having to face numerous obstacles that prevented them from continuing with their future plans and achieving their dreams. Instead, we now have more flexible regulatory framework that is better adapted to the particularities of unaccompanied migrant minors and young people in detention. 

With the publication of this guide we seek to offer to all the people who work on a daily basis with children and youth migrant and the young foreigners themselves some keys so that they can carry out the necessary procedures to maintain of obtain a residence and work authorization that will help them on their way to autonomy and social and labor insertion. It includes the aspects to be taken into account from their arrival in Spanish territory for their regularization once they reach the age of majority, as well as the renewal of these authorizations. 

We seek to provide a practical approach, sharing the steps to follow and the necessary documentation to present to prevent these young people from falling into a situation of supervening irregularity, and to participate in the promotion of good practices that lighten the bureaucratic processes and focus on what is most important: the accompaniment and inclusion of all young people who are in Spain. 

CONSUL HERE THE GUIDE FOR THE PROCESSING OF THE APPLICATION AND RENEWAL OF THE RESIDENCE AND WORK PERMIT IN SPAIN. 

‘Semillas’, the new SJM’s podcast.

In the SJM we wanted to start the year with a project that we carry out with a great enthusiasm and excitement. A project with which we hope accompany migrants and refugees in their migratory phases, in a way that is close to all the people who are part of out SJM family an its work.

This project is named ‘Semillas’ (seeds), a podcast where we share different moments, works, experiences, points of view and strength to face each of the challenges we encounter every day in the process of accompanying, serving and defending migrants and refugees, whose rights are constantly violated.

In our first episode, in addition to talking about what SJM is and how it works, we introduced and analyzed, in the MigraAcciones section, how each of our strategic lines are focused on serving and defending the rights of all these people. Therefore, we have considered important to talk about the history of this organization; how the Jesuits began this mission of walking alongside excluded people in search of social justice since the birth of JRS in 1980.

On the other hand, in this episode we interview Jaime Pons, technical coordinator of the SJM network, who talks about the global challenges of migration today and in the future.

The first installment of ‘Semillas’ is hosted by two colleagues from our SJM Technical Office in Madrid, Daniel Martínez and Pilar Sanz.

Transparency is one of the main qualities in any organization, so we want to share the essence of our work. We also consider this an original what to do it, where we seek a sense of family in the struggle for a society where the human rights of all people are respected, especially those affected by war, persecution, lack of resources or any other situation that causes there rights to be violated.

You can listen here the first episode of our podcast #Semillas.

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Women on the Move: migrant women, women with rights

  • On the occasion of International Women’s Day, Alboan, Entreculturas, the Jesuit Migrant Service of Spain (SJM) and the Ellacuría Foundation presented Women on the Move, an initiative that focuses on the rights of women and girls, with special attention to migrant and refugee women. 

The Arrupe Etxea center in Bilbao was the venue for the presentation of the initiative with a press conference with the participation of a group of women communicators who recently traveled to the Democratic Republic of Congo in order to meet women who have suffered violence in their migratory processes and who struggle to defend their rights from different spaces. The event was led by the communicator Pili Kaltzada and included the participation of Sara Diego, Alboan advocacy technician; Caddy Abzuda, Congolese lawyer and activist, 2014 Princess of Asturias Award for Concord; África Baeta, journalist of EiTB; Jenny Paula Tenorio, collaborator of the Ellacuría Foundation; and Lucía Rodríguez, head of Advocacy at Entreculturas. 

Against the backdrop of the presentation of the report ‘Women on the Move, the reality of women in migration processes’, a campaign has been launched to collect signatures on the platform visibles.org that aims to incorporate the gender perspective into the Pact on Migration and Asylum that the European Union presented in 2020. To this end, the driving organizations launch five proposals and recommendations so that migrant and refugee women are also considered at the center of European policies on protection and inclusion. The EU document does not recognize the specific violence that women face and increases discrimination and lack of protection. 

CLICK HERE TO SIGN FOR MIGRANT WOMEN’S RIGHTS.