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10 / 09 / 2004
Joan Delort: Immigration is not a problem, it is an opportunity

The Secretary for Public Security from the Department of the Interior of the Generalitat de Catalunya has requested that communication policies avoid the terms ethnic and cultural minorities wherever possible

Joan Delort, Secretary for Public Security from the Department of the Interior of the Generalitat de Catalunya pointed out today in the Dialogue "Promoting Coexistence and Security in the Information Era" that "immigration is not a problem, it is a source of enrichment, an opportunity to transform our system and make it more just."

During his speech he talked about the increasing migratory phenomenon in Catalonia over recent years and although "in itself it is not a new phenomenon, it is developing so fast that we're faced with the challenge of handling this speed." He requested that we "humanize the immigrant concept, it is necessary to speak of people and to treat them like people."

According to his point of view, the bottom line lies in "the mutual ignorance that leads to distrust and insecurity", for which reason he encourages "creating policies that promote cultural diversity and equal opportunities." On this subject he said that it is necessary to change the idea of "exploiting immigrants because they are the ones who do the work that we do not want to do and who pay for our pension, that's the scenario now, but this will not be the case with their children."

In agreement with his criterion, security problems stem from the combination of all those causes. He went on to mention, "our communication policies should avoid mentioning ethnic and cultural minorities and only use those terms when it is absolutely necessary, because they can lead to tension."

He also insisted on the need to adequately manage cultural diversity, "immigrants must integrate, but maintain their identity, because a person feels comfortable if he or she is respected as they are." And he went on to outline the idea that we should begin to think about an immigrant as having the right to vote.