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Home > Press releases
04-09-04 // 17:36h


Spain’s State Secretary for Immigration, Consuelo Rumi, explained the immigration policy of the Spanish central government.

The Spanish government’s State Secretary for Immigration, Consuelo Rumi, explained, “We are faced with an imminent situation of migration pressures.” Rumi said, “The Spanish government wishes to face this situation which presents challenges and difficulties to which we don’t want to turn our backs, and we will certainly take on the responsibility of ordering migrations flows.”

Rumisaid that the government  “Is working on the drafting of the regulations for the Spanish Immigration Act” while she asked,  “to bear patience and be confident of the decisions that the new government is to take.” Rumi anticipated, “The regulations   include some mechanisms to praise those who comply with the law and to punish those who do not respect it.”

Rumi referred to the current situation as “A moment when poverty and social exclusion concur with the development of new technologies that allow us to witness images of poverty with images of opulence and welfare.” With regard to public administrations, Rumi stated that up until now, “Public administrations’ responses with regard to immigration have been hesitant and opportunist and for this reason public policies must include immigration in national and international agendas.”

The State Secretary for Immigration explained the change of ministry office that will deal with immigration. “Immigration will no longer be dealt with by the Ministry of the Interior. Instead, it will be the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs who will deal with it,” added Rumi. With regard to the changes, Rumi explained, “This change of focus is supported by our firm belief in the need for an intersectoral policy making.” However, Rumi added, “This change does not imply overlooking the need to combat clandestine immigration.” Rumi stated, “The fight against clandestine immigration is essential if we want to work and base our action on specific goals. This immigration is an unwanted phenomenon that neither does a good service to immigrants nor to receiving countries,” pointed Rumi.

Rumi criticized the immigration policies put in place by the former government of the Partido Popular in the last eight years and warned that the accusations of this party addressed to the Socialist government, “Of opening the doors to all, are false and aimed at confusing people and minimizing the debate.” “It is a most extravagant accusation; we do not have an open-doors policy and its is remarkable how this accusation comes from those who failed to combat clandestine immigration.”

Rumi explained that the Government "gives a new focus based on the fight against illegal immigration, managing, and organizing of the migration flows and the commitment to integrate immigrants." In spite of this, Rumi admitted that "the solutions are not simple but we need work flows to reach a level of demographic and social growth." "We have to adjust the flow to our capacity," he added.

Rumi spoke about the attracting of illegal immigrants to work in precarious conditions. "The government wants to end this, the Spanish society demands the maintenance of the social model, for this, they must improve the managing instruments, the migratory flow, and legal arrival, that is the only route for integration," Rumi stated.

In this sense, the secretary of Immigration explained, "integration does not imply assimilation, but rather the settling of the bases for a possible coexistence." For Rumi, "it is important to advance on the horizon of migratory politics in Europe, we want to be leaders, the size of the problem demands coordinated responses."

Rumi demanded the collaboration of all of the speakers and entities related with immigration and said "it is important that the city receives truthful information on the effect of migration and its impact." "We need to have informed citizens, who are conscience of the difficulty and complexity of the associated problems, neither downplaying them nor dramatizing them," Rumi concluded.

Press Release
Consuelo Rumí - © Fòrum Barcelona 2004 / Agustí Argelich

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