Spain at work on bill to regulate illegal migrants

Congreso de los Diputados de España

The lower house of Spain’s Parliament approved a proposal brought over by citizens’ initiative that would grant residency and work permits to hundreds of thousands illegal migrants in the country.

The proposal reached the Congress of Deputies after the citizens’ initiative received more than 700,000 signatures and the backing of more than 900 organisations, including the Catholic associations and migrants’ rights groups.

The proposal received an overwhelming majority of 310 in favour, with only 33 votes against coming from far-right party VOX. After the vote it will be debated and most likely amended before it enters into force.

Under the current proposal, illegal migrants who arrived in Spain before November 1, 2021 will regulate their status and allow them to pay taxes, contribute to Social Security, and access healthcare, education and other public services. According to the promoter of the initiative, currently there are between 390,000 to 470,000 people living in Spain that have not regulated their situation, leaving themselves vulnerable to exploitation and shunned from accessing services. Often these people end up working in the so-called underground economy without any protection and in terrible conditions.

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