Thursday, September 23

Vox calls for the closure of centers that host foreign minors alone | Spain

Reception center for immigrant minors of the Coliseo Association in Gran Canaria, last November.
Reception center for immigrant minors of the Coliseo Association in Gran Canaria, last November.Quique Curbelo

Vox wants to close the reception centers for foreign minors who are alone in Spain. The commitment to propose the closure of these centers has been assumed by the ultra candidate for the Generalitat of Catalonia, Ignacio Garriga, although his party already proposed it last summer in Asturias. Vox does not explain what it will do with those minors; it only says that they have to be repatriated, which in most cases is unfeasible. The Catalan Generalitat ensures that it has 4,258 foreign minors, although this figure does not match the 13,796 that the Prosecutor’s Office gives for all of Spain.

Vox has taken a further step in the criminalization of this group, which is always referred to by the acronym of menas (unaccompanied immigrant minors) and not by their status as children or adolescents. Garriga has promised to propose its closure in the Catalan Parliament, which it aspires to enter the elections scheduled for February 14. Until now, Vox had limited itself to rejecting the opening of new centers, demanding that no immigrant enter them until their age was verified or requesting the closure of one in particular.

The closure of all of them raises a series of problems to which Vox proposes repatriation as the only alternative. This requires, first of all, as with any irregular immigrant, that it be documented and the country of destination agrees to receive it. In addition, since they are minors, it is necessary to locate their relatives or guardians and guarantee that they will give them the protection to which they are entitled, according to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. The Administration exercises the guardianship of these minors and leaving them unprotected could lead to criminal liability.

Vox has made the rejection of immigration one of the axes of its campaign for Parliament. On the 4th, Garriga visited the town of Salt (Girona), where he denounced that “illegal immigration has taken the neighborhood away from the neighbors” and assimilated immigrants with squatters and criminals. For his part, MEP Jorge Buxadé, went to El Vendrell (Tarragona) on the 10th, where he assured that some of its neighborhoods had been “degraded by radical Islamic immigration” and criticized the City Council for legalizing a mosque.

The party’s leader, Santiago Abascal, made a tour of the Canary Islands in the first week of December, the scene in recent months of a wave of boats, where he insisted that the Navy should mount an operation to prevent the arrival of boats with immigrants. Abascal asked that an immigrant who enters Spain irregularly can never be regularized; so that, if he cannot be returned to his country, he would be condemned to live off black work or crime. In addition, he demanded that public subsidies to the NGOs that help them be withdrawn, because in his opinion they promote the call effect, and that free health care be withdrawn.

Vox believes that the rejection of immigration can win the support of a sector of the Catalan population. Not in vain, before the ultra party burst onto the Spanish scene, an autochthonous xenophobic group, Plataforma per Catalunya (PxC), got 65,905 votes and 67 councilors in the municipal elections of 2011. PxC leaders, such as Juan Garriga and Monica Lora, pending to sit on the bench for an alleged hate crime, landed in Vox and took over the power of the party in the province of Barcelona. In Salt, the town that Garriga visited, Vox obtained its best result in the last municipal elections in Catalonia: 12.8% of the votes and three councilors. All its councilors come from the xenophobic party.

Proof of the importance that Vox gives to the Catalan elections is that it has made some concessions contrary to its principles: for the first time it has appointed a candidate to the Generaltar, despite the fact that the ultra party proposes the suppression of autonomy and does not even have autonomous organization; and its spokesperson in Congress, Iván Espinosa de los Monteros, has been seen in Barcelona with a mask with the senyera next to the red. None of these gestures have served to appease the barbarians of the other ideological extreme: Vox has denounced that its headquarters in Lleida and Girona have been vandalized with graffiti, as has the party president’s car in the first of these provinces.

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