Spain: Socialist ruling party wants to give migrants the right to vote
The ruling party PSOE aims to facilitate the right to vote for immigrants in future municipal elections by eliminating the requirement of reciprocity and making the procedures to be a resident far more affordable and quick.
The goal of the – unelected – socialists is to clearly increase the number of immigrants who can vote in the municipal elections, so they have included a series of far more relaxed measures in their migratory policy project to enable the immigrant vote.
On one hand, they intend to abolish the legal pre-agreed requirement for reciprocity of voting rights (an agreement that allows EU and non-EU foreign residents to vote in Spain).
A second step would be to accelerate and ease the procedures to obtain residency in Spain. In this way, in a few years the number of immigrants with the right to vote in the municipal elections will balloon.
The terms of the reform will make it practically impossible for a change of this magnitude to be approved before spring of next year – when the next municipal elections are held. But it will serve the PSOE as an extra feather in the campaign of support for “Refugees Welcome” in Spain which began as a result of the arrival of the Aquarius boat.
PSOE’s plan has several points which all appear in road map for the action program for immigration. The first point of this plan has already been officially announced by the Government: to immediately repeal a law “which imposed serious restrictions on the recognition and effective guarantee of the right to health benefits for illegal immigrants.”
The rest of the points have not yet been publicly discussed, but among these objectives is the elimination of the “principle of reciprocity of the right to vote in municipal elections for foreigners residing in Spain.” Translated: although they are immigrants from countries without democracy, they will have a vote. That requirement affects many of the immigrants who are arriving in recent days.
The socialists, in addition, intend to “address a reform of nationality by residence, seeking maximum consensus, incorporating a significant reduction in the maximum deadlines currently established.”
The plan goes through “the review of the assumptions of renouncing of the original nationality and the assessment of the trajectory of integration as a prominent element when evaluating access conditions”. This would basically fast-track illegals into legalityand, with it, make it much easier to vote in municipal elections.
To complete the immigrant entry plan, the socialists also insist on “repealing the law for the protection of citizen security, which aims to legalise the fast deportations in the border area between Ceuta and Melilla and the territory of the Kingdom of Morocco” and “modify the current model of Foreigners’ Internment Centres (CIE) “.
The result will be greater legal protection for immigrants in the CIE and, therefore the most likely scenario would be their release into the streets of Spain due to the impossibility of being repatriated. Which would encourage being given residence in Spain and eventually vote in future municipal elections.
Pedro Sanchez, the leader of the PSOE, has also recently stated he is negotiating with the EU for more funds for immigrants in Spain. Even as Germany is reversing its free-for-all attitude on migrants, Spain is bent on going against the current trend in Europe and increasing migration.