For the Spanish courts, rejecting migrants is legal

The “hot” expulsions, that is real rejections at the border, will be able to continue in Spain after the Constitutional Court has ruled that the controversial practice does not violate the fundamental Charter of the State. The only cases that are excluded concern minors and people belonging to vulnerable groups, such as the elderly or pregnant women.

Hot exulsions

The country’s police usually send back to Morocco all migrants who cross the fences in the territories of Ceuta and Melilla, autonomous Spanish cities in Moroccan territory. The so-called “hot deportation” was codified in Spanish law in 2015 after the practice was contested by NGOs that the border police were violating the human rights of migrants by denying them the right to seek asylum. The Constitutional Court affirmed in its ruling that “the purpose of rejection at the border” is “to restore a state of legality violated by the attempt of foreigners to cross that specific land border in an irregular way”. The ruling also cited a decision by the European Court of Human Rights earlier this year, which ruled that two migrants who sued Madrid against the practice “got into an illegal situation by attempting to enter Spanish territory. in an unauthorized way “by climbing the barbed wire fence on the border between Morocco and Melilla.

Illegal entries

The Constitutional Court gave what is known as a “conforming interpretation” of the Magna Carta with respect to the tenth additional provision of the Ley de Seguridad Ciudadana dispute, in a ruling passed with nine votes in favor and two against, those of the more progressive judges. This precept states in its first paragraph that “aliens who are detected in the boundary line of the territorial demarcation of Ceuta or Melilla while trying to overcome the containment elements of the border to cross the border in an irregular way may be rejected in order to prevent the their illegal entry into Spain “.

Expulsions even with the left government

When they were in opposition, the two member parties of the current Spanish governing coalition, the socialist one of the premier Pedro Sanchez and the radical leftist Podemos of Pablo Iglesias, opposed the practice which they considered comparable to summary deportations. Iglesias last February called them “violation of human rights”, stating that they shouldn’t happen. But the same practice has not been stopped since they entered the government two years ago and is indeed supported by Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska Gómez who justified the mass expulsions by saying that it occurs in response to the violence used by migrants during the assault on the fences, which saw the border police injured by bullets and caustic liquids. By the will of the government, the barbed wire will be removed from the fences, but they will be enlarged to a height of ten meters.

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