July 28, 2021

The Spain that does look into the eyes of immigrants

Although the arrival of irregular immigrants has been reduced this year, the debate on this phenomenon settled in Spain for 30 years has not stopped growing in 2019, nor the initiatives of those who have chosen to lay a cable so that These people can find the future for which they have risked so much.

Spanish society has lived with astonishment this year episodes such as that the president of Vox in the Community of Madrid, Rocío Monasterio, along with party leaders in Andalusia, manifested in an election campaign against illegal immigration in front of a center in Seville in the living their most vulnerable victims, unaccompanied minors.

But it has also witnessed stories of solidarity and integration that reflect that reality is very different and sometimes opposed to how some paint it.

In Andalusia, 26 families have decided to take in their homes, in their families, African boys and girls who, being minors, arrived irregularly in Spain, most of them in boats, and that, after living for some time in sheltered shelters by the Junta de Andalucía, when they turned 18 they saw each other on the street.

"There are many more initiatives of the society for solidarity," Juan Medina, of the Association of Solidarity Families for the Development of Chiclana de la Frontera (Cádiz), an entity that was born in 2004 to foster foster care in families of minors, explains to EFE. supervised by the administration and that, since October 2018, has embarked on a project to give an exit to these immigrants who do not need to be supportive for turning 18.

This association now manages three floors where 12 boys and four girls live who have just turned 18 and who, in addition to a roof and food, help to regularize their documentation, train and find a job.

"The demand is very high. Now we have 36 applications. Yesterday they called me in case we could take in a boy who, after leaving the center of minors, was sleeping on the street in Jerez. In Jerez there are 26 boys who have been waiting for a solution for more than a month in the municipal shelter, which is not an ideal resource but at least it is not the street, "explains Juan Medina.

His association finances these floors with "microdonations." "People sign up through fees, five or ten euros, and with that we pay the rent and support, although we also have small grants from the Diputación, the City Council and we have asked the Junta de Andalucía."

These are initiatives, such as the Digna Immigration Reception Network that has been organized at the state level, that attempt to "respond to situations that the administration does not reach."

As happens to these children when they reach the age of majority. "For them to turn 18 means terror, fear, uncertainty, their birthday gift is to sleep on a street bench," says Juan Medina, very happy that the Andalusian administration has begun to assume "an old claim", which is not throw these boys and girls from a center without an alternative.

"Since they step on our land they are our children, because with 18 years and without family they are still children," he says.

Faced with "false" ideas that associate them with crime and violence, Juan Medina talks about boys and girls who "are not children, they are super motivated people, they want to work and study, learn the language," he explains.

For them, their association has launched the "Undertaking the Flight" program, in which twelve local volunteers collaborate with the objective of achieving an autonomous life.

Five boys have already managed to fly, with jobs in restaurants, hairdressers or a mechanic workshop.

"Seeing how with so few means we get such good results encourages us a lot," says Medina.

He explains that lately his effort has to be greater to face the "Vox argument, which is doing a lot of damage" on the street.

"We have to show that these boys and girls are making an effort, that they are alone and have no one, that they are not going to take anyone's job, that they do not monopolize social resources, because that is a lie. Nor are they education or health system. They just need to be accompanied. "

Isabel Laguna

. (tagsToTranslate) Spain (t) look (t) eyes (t) immigrants

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