Friday, September 17

“Integrating” Afghan Refugees

The United States has pulled out of Afghanistan and the Taliban are celebrating. A few days ago, our Defense Minister ended the evacuation while, on the one hand, she celebrates the rescued Afghans and Afghans, and on the other, laments the lives left behind.

Progressively, the news about Afghanistan is diminishing, and of course, also the festive reports of rigor in which the evacuees arrived in Spain. It seems that the news suggests that this is it, they have escaped from the Taliban and reached the land of opportunities, where according to certain far-right political parties we are going to cover them in aid with Spanish taxes (note the irony) and that we are welcoming all of Afghanistan. Spoiler: not the case (Around 1,700 out of 2,200 arrivals will request asylum here, in a country of more than 40 million inhabitants. Furthermore, let’s add that Spain itself welcomes very few refugees, in 2020 only 5% of asylum applications were approved, when the European average is 33%.

To believe that with getting here all the work is done is like believing that by giving birth you already have a raised child, an idea that of how false it is is even absurd. Yes, the Afghans are already here, but what now? Now begins a complex and long process both bureaucratic and emotional for those who request asylum in Spain, from reception to integration? Inclusion? Be autonomous? Have the same opportunities as a bureaucratically Spanish person? Speak Spanish and eat paella on Sundays? … Well, until you get to something.

Yes, we have a reception system (Cash? Who knows it), a former Red Cross employee explained to me that in the first six months asylum seekers are received in government centers or managed by NGOs, assisted at all times by staff in daily tasks, from making an appointment at the medical center to Spanish classes. As temporary documentation and until it is decided whether their asylum application is accepted, they receive the so-called red card, which in the first 6 months does not authorize to work (If someone is lucky and gets a job, they would be paid in B and a fairly low salary) .

After 6 months (in which I repeat, you cannot work and you are 100% dependent), the idea is that they achieve greater autonomy, they are helped to find work and also a flat. The former social worker told me that 80% of the flats she called rejected the rental request because the landlords did not like them to be refugees. This is just the beginning.

And the so famous aid, they are not so many, nor are they given to everyone, they are more or less 350 euros. A close example, one of my best friends is a Syrian with a Spanish passport, and due to her bureaucratically privileged situation she did not have any help in Spain, despite fleeing a war alone, at 23 years old. And when he was looking for a flat, nobody wanted to rent it to him as soon as they read his name and surname.

As you can see, with our reception system, everything is easy 🙄🙄🙄.

Refugees and asylum seekers from Afghanistan or from any part of the world, do not come here for fun, or to walk, or to fill their mattresses with euros thanks to our taxes. First, they risk losing their lives along the way, and second, they have left everything behind, a whole to which they will surely never be able to return: their countries have been destroyed by war, they have lost loved ones, or they are even being sought. to kill them for various reasons. Please, out of sheer humanity, let’s not let false and populist arguments that play on fear of the unknown sink into our minds.

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