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Europe

Spain Offers Immigration Amnesty

Spain's socialist government is offering an amnesty to illegal immigrants in the country in an attempt to regularize their situation.

Consuelo Rumi, the state secretary for immigration told Spanish daily El Pais that illegal immigrants who can prove they have a valid work contract will be eligible for the amnesty. "It is about easing the social integration of foreigners but also about combating the black market in immigrant labor, " Rumi said. "This does not mean we are going to give papers to all foreigners. Let that be very clear," she stressed. Under new plans, which are to be unveiled next month, the government will also issue residence papers for immigrants who blow the whistle on employers who employ immigrants without a work contract, El Pais reported. Legal immigration will be promoted by offering three-month visas to immigrants so they have time to look for a job before applying for a residence permit. The minister also said that Spain is planning to ask the EU for more funds to strengthen border controls. (EUobserver.com)

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