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20 / 08 / 2004
Jordi Ibáñez: “Spain’s immigration policy is a source of the systematic exclusion of immigrants”

The Barcelona Territorial Unit of Federació Catalana de Voluntariat Social presented a document this afternoon—called Quadern—, which includes the main conclusions of a study that shows the extent to which volunteer associations meet social needs.

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The secretary general of the Unitat Territorial de la Federació Catalana de Voluntariat, Eulàlia Mas, explained that they have conducted a study on the phenomenon of immigration because “it jolts or complex, comfortable and unbalanced society, and crystallizes our contradictions, revealing our latent fears; it poses a threat to our customs and routines and is the sign of the discrepancy between the administration’s social policy and citizens.”

Upon analyzing the 57 volunteer organizations that deal with immigration in one way or another, Unitat Territorial has come to several conclusions. Jordi Ibáñez explained that, “volunteer organizations are an alternative social network for integrating immigrants.” Moreover, Ibáñez believes that “the issue requires the coordinated effort of the administrations and affected agents, as well as an increase in resources.”

Ibáñez criticized Spain’s immigration policy and said that, “it is a source of systematic exclusion for immigrants, whereas one of the things it should do is give those working in the underground economy an opportunity to normalize their situation.” Ibáñez called for a reform of the policy, “just as has been done with the water resources plan and when they pulled the troops out of Iraq.”

According to Ibáñez, “the associations have adapted their services and resources, maintaining the criteria of trying not to create services specific to immigrants.” He added that, “the associations feel like there are substituting the government in fulfilling its obligations.” Finally, Ibáñez feels that “it is important to understand the context of immigrants.”