The police chief of the Granada airport faces a disciplinary sanction for failing to identify the immigrants who arrived on December 14 on a flight from the Canary Islands. The chief commissioner of the province has communicated to the inspector the opening of a disciplinary file, according to a complaint by the Unified Police Union (SUP). A week earlier, the inspector had received the order that only the existence of “possible criminal connections” of immigrants who were arriving from the islands should be checked to alleviate migratory pressure.
That same week the Police had dismantled an organization that was dedicated to registering immigrants in an irregular situation in the Peninsula to whom, in addition, it provided false documentation, as reported by ABC. This network that operated from Lanzarote had ramifications in Granada, where some 200 immigrants from the islands arrived in those days, of which the municipal or regional authorities were not informed. Both accused Interior of acting in bad faith.
The trigger for the file against the inspector was the arrival at the Granada airport of one of those flights, on December 14, among whose passengers were 12 Maghreb and sub-Saharan citizens. Only a week before, the inspector who is now being punished had received an internal note from the head of the Granada Aliens and Borders Brigade, in which only the verification of possible criminal connections in the flows of people who arrived at the airport and expressly cited as elements of police action the regulations on identification of people that restrict this police practice to highly taxed requirements, “which were not met,” according to the SUP complaint.
Thus, and following the instructions he had received, the inspector in charge of the border post ordered to carry out checks on the passenger lists of the flights, detecting citizens with Maghreb features who were observed leaving the airport in public means of transport, like others passengers, without any private vehicle coming to pick them up in what, in that case, would have been a clear indication of a criminal organization such as the one that had been ordered to be detected.
The non-identification of travelers of Maghreb origin for which it is now intended to sanction this official “fully complies with the law,” police sources maintain. The Schengen Borders Code establishes that the crossing of internal borders is not subject to inspection by any of the people, whatever their nationality, and the flight from the Canary Islands was internal in nature, so there was no room for border controls.
But above that police consideration, Organic Law 4/2015, on the protection of citizen security, rates the cases in which the identification of people may be required, limiting them to the existence of indications about their possible participation in the commission of an offense or the prevention of the commission of a crime, and this police practice must be subject to criteria that avoid discrimination based on ethnic or racial origin. None of these assumptions occurred on that flight and the Secretary of State for Security, in its Instruction 7/2015, circumscribes the identification of citizens to the objective existence of one of the two assumptions established in the aforementioned rule.
There is also another circular from 2012 of the General Police Directorate that expressly prohibits “unnecessary, arbitrary, abusive identifications and that imply an excess of the powers granted to this effect by the legal system to the Security Forces and Bodies”.
Documentation in the Canary Islands
The non-identification of these Maghreb passengers, in short, did not occur because “At that time there were no indications of the commission of a crime or of their participation in an administrative offense”, the sources insist. Even the National Program for Civil Aviation (PNS) requires that immigrants who take a domestic flight must be identified to catch a commercial flight and airlines are required to check the validity and validity of the documents of those citizens (which may be the valid passport or travel document in force, the residence permit or the driving license issued in Spain).
If all of them had previously boarded at the airport of origin, they could only have done so with accredited and verified documentation there.
The disciplinary file opened against the head of the Granada airport border post is, in the opinion of the SUP, “Objectionable, untimely and faces a plurality of clear and strict rules and protocols” so they require immediate filing.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism