Regularization of migrants: those absent from a historic meeting in Congress | 3,500 Million | future planet | The USA Print

On December 22, the coalition of more than 600 organizations that make up the campaign essentials delivered to the Electoral Census Office 29 boxes of signatures supporting the extraordinary regularization of close to half a million migrants in an irregular situation. The total content of the boxes amounts to 609,630 signatures, more than 20% above those necessary for Parliament to process this petition in the form of a Popular Legislative Initiative (ILP). If the parties did not go to the mountains, the mountains have had to come to them.

The process for this historic achievement of organized civil society has not been easy, I assure you. In addition to the obvious difficulty of obtaining so much support in a process as guaranteed as that of a vote, is added the extraordinary logistical complexity associated with the process: receipt and distribution of specifications, collection of signatures in the most varied circumstances, safe return of the specifications, validation by notaries, delivery in time and form to the authorities… Even before being discussed in Parliament, a successful ILP is a true miracle.

But this one in particular has faced an added challenge. For the first time in the history of our country, it has been the self-organized migrant organizations that have taken the reins of a process of this magnitude. The State Regularization Now movement – ​​a diverse collective of individuals and organizations born to write your own story– constitutes a resounding exception in the Spanish political and social landscape, where the migrant voice and agency are conspicuous by their absence. One in six residents in Spain was born abroad; However, how many migrants do you recognize in political parties, in unions, in the media? How many times have you heard a foreign and racialized person debate their point of view on large public platforms, instead of listening to how others do it for them?

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The contrast with neighboring countries, such as France and the United Kingdom, is striking. And the resistance –even from those who are working for the success of this regularization– can be fierce, because no one easily gives up their space of power (whether they know they have it or not). But that is what makes this process extraordinary. Even before knowing the route that the ILP will have in Parliament, we can affirm that nothing will be the same after it.

Naturally, we are here to win the parliamentary battle as well. Throughout this campaign we have argued that the ethical, economic, political and health scope of this challenge requires a forceful response from the institutions. The updated estimate made by the PorCausa Foundation (see graph) raises the number of people in our country condemned to live in the shadows to about 425,000. This population – made up of women and children of Latin American origin, for the most part – constitutes one of the most vulnerable and punished groups in society. Paradoxically, they are also part of the labor and demographic solution that our country needs. The vast majority of adults work in professions that only they do. Their incorporation into the formal labor market would mean a net tax benefit for the system of around 3,250 euros per regularized worker and year, according to the same estimates.

Each of these arguments was recalled this week at the historic seminar that Regularización Ya organized in the Congress of Deputies, the first event of its kind promoted by a migrant organization. How sarcasm that this solemn act of citizenship is carried out by those who are not recognized as citizens by our institutions. A room to burst with activists, social representatives, ambassadors, journalists and members of some parliamentary groups. United We Can, together with the coalition of parties that supports the Government, has made a firm commitment to carry out this ILP.

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Those who did not attend – not a single one of its 217 representatives in the chamber – were the parliamentary groups of the PSOE, the Popular Party and Ciudadanos. In all frankness, I find it intolerable. One can understand the reasons for supporting or rejecting such a measure. What I find unbearable is that they don’t even have the courtesy to come over to listen to what their neighbors have to say under the very roof of Parliament. I trust that the parliamentary processing of this measure will be received with less arrogance and with more arguments by those who have the obligation to behave seriously in serious matters.

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