The immigration policy of the Spanish “moderate” right

In preparation for the party conference to be held on next 20 June, the Partido Popular (PP) has prepared a policy paper (PDF, Spanish) to be debated and then approved. At the same time, Mariano Rajoy, the current leader, will be re-elected. There have been a lot of controversy on the adequacy of Mariano Rajoy for the leadership of the party -which includes the candidacy for the Prime Minister position when the next general elections will take place in 2012- and on the ideologically stance of the party, which has taken steps towards a centre-left position. I can recommend you this article (Spanish Conservatives Face Identity Crisis, Power Struggle), which does not include the latest developments of the controversy but is nevertheless a good introduction to the situation of the PP.

I have translated the points of the policy paper regarding immigration, which are probably the most relevant to GoV readers, and I have then added my comments. Here you are:

IX. To integrate immigration.

191. One of our major challenges for the coming years is to choose the right integration model for the immigrant population. [Introductory issues without content]

192. Choosing the right model is the key to achieve a successful, conflict-free Spanish society, respectful of our constitutional values and contributing to the general welfare. [Same]

193. We defend the orderly and legal entry of immigrants because immigration is an opportunity for those who come and those who are already in. [At the current stage, Spain needs to stop further immigration. The time to manage it has passed; now it is time to stop and reverse it. To be noted that the welfare of immigrants is equated to that of historical residents]

194. Immigration is a source of economic, social and cultural wealth, but the lack of appropriate and realistic integration policies can generate tensions among communities. [Immigration is NOT a source of economic, social and cultural wealth: THE ECONOMIC IMPACT OF IMMIGRATION (PDF)]

195. Illegal entry into our country can not become a valid formula to get a residence permit in Spain, because this policy has failed, causing an call-effect that has resulted in a humanitarian tragedy also criticized by our European partners. [Is it necessary to declare in a policy paper that illegal entry is not legal? The problem is NOT the “humanitarian tragedy” -the decision to reach Spanish coasts by boats is a free decision among other alternatives-, but the consequences for the Spanish population. The reference to the criticism from our “European partners” is indicative of the Europhylia that affects all the complete Spanish political spectrum]

196. We deem peremptory a border-control policy and a determined fight against human trafficking and abusive practices. [Again we see the “humanitarian” pretext for action. And again must it be made clear that the main problem is the implication of immigration on the natives.]

197. The surveillance of the most vulnerable borders should be reinforced. Frontier controls in Ceuta and Melilla should be also enhanced; in the Canary Islands, the availability of the Integrated Monitoring Systems should be improved. [This is obviously needed, but most of the immigrants come by plane. The PP seems to focus only on the visible, iconic aspects of immigration; on the news that reach the TV screens]

198. In order to facilitate the coexistence [sic] and integration of those who arrive and are legal residents, the PP defends a clear pedagogical effort regarding the conventions, duties and rights of immigrants, which should not be circumvented for those wanting to live in our country. [Once more, immigration that is taken for granted. It completely misses the point: what we need is not to manage immigration, but to stop it]

199. We bet on increasing development assistance for those countries where immigration originates, giving priority to projects that generate employment and cover deficits in health and education facilities, transport infrastructure and water. [The Spanish right is accepting blackmail. This policy will not work, of course]

200. The common immigration policy must be based on the harmonization of political and administrative structures that deal with immigration; policies that should enhance the economic development of the countries from where immigrants come, favouring the readmission agreements, the rejection of massive regularizations, the effective management of external borders ensuring FRONTEX receives enough resources and a special effort in the handling of legal immigration. [Just newspeak; the syntax leaves ample room for improvement]


My conclusion is that the policy proposed by the Partido Popular for discussion in its next conference is actually more “moderate” and restrained than the policy that the Spanish left in the government is implementing. All in all, in the current circumstances, this is indeed a pro-inmigration policy.

Also to be noted: there is no reference to Islamic aggression in the paper. At all.

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