Isabel Castro, member of the Balearic Government and Labor Inspector, will be the new Secretary of State for Migration, as published The country and has confirmed elDiario.es. Until now, the General Director of Coordination, Relations with the Parliament, Rights and Diversity of the Archipelago will occupy the position of Jesús Perea, who has left the position after 14 months of his arrival at the Secretariat, as reported by elDiario.es.
Castro will become the third Secretary of State under the mandate of José Luis Escrivá, in a Secretary of State that has undergone constant changes in two and a half years. Perea’s departure is the sixth casualty that has occurred so far in the legislature in the Department of Migration, dependent on the ministry from which the Social Security and Inclusion portfolios also hang. The first was the socialist Hana Jalloul, who left office to run as number two of Ángel Gabilondo’s candidacy in the Madrid elections of May 2021.
The future Secretary of State, with a clear work profile, has on the table the processing of the reform of the Immigration Regulations with which Escrivá intends to introduce thousands of foreign workers into the labor market. Her predecessor has been in charge of preparing the draft of the normative text, which is being analyzed by the different ministries. Perea has also been responsible for key moments in migration policy, such as the response to the arrival of more than 100,000 Ukrainian refugees, the reception operation for Afghan evacuees last August and the culmination of the first modification of the regulations of immigration, which facilitated the inclusion of unaccompanied foreign minors.
Castro has a degree in Law and Business Administration from the Carlos III University of Madrid. He joined the Superior Corps of Labor Inspectors in 2008, where he exercised during these years, among other functions, those related to surveillance and compliance with regulations on labor, Social Security, prevention of occupational risks and immigration, they explain from the Balearic Government.
Between 2015 and 2019, Castro was General Director of Labour, Social Economy and Occupational Health of the Government of the Balearic Islands. Currently, she is the general director of Coordination, Relations with Parliament, Rights and Diversity in the regional execution from which she performs “tasks of coordination and promotion of the policies of the eleven Government ministries”. Neither Inclusion nor the Government confirm the scheduled date for her official appointment.
To the changes in the Secretary of State, which is the main rank after the minister, four other remodelings are added in the two and a half years that the legislature has been in office. Last November, Maite Pacheco resigned as General Director of Inclusion and Humanitarian Reception. Although she avoided giving details of her departure, in the socialist ranks they blamed it on disagreements with Escrivá. The week before, it was the deputy general director of Programs, Amapola Blasco, who had left.
Pacheco had been appointed less than a year earlier, in December 2020, replacing Francisco Dorado. Then the Ministry justified that the restructuring was “strategic” and that it was looking for a profile like Pacheco’s to lead the reform of the reception system for asylum seekers in Spain to end a format based mainly on subsidies to NGOs to be replaced by a competitive bidding system. At the end of April 2020, in the midst of a state of alarm, Irune Aguirrezabal presented her resignation as General Director of Migration just two months after taking office.
She was replaced by Elena Biurrun, until then director of Escrivá’s cabinet. In February, she also stepped down from her post, less than three months after her appointment, which was filled by Myriam Benterrak. It was the fourth dismissal that affected this position, key in immigration policy, since Minister José Luis Escrivá formed his team. The former director of Humanitarian Attention explained through her social networks that she is changing stages and starting a new challenge at the Manantial Foundation, specialized in mental health.
Government sources point out that Escrivá’s “character” is behind the numerous changes in his department. In recent weeks, moreover, discomfort has increased in the socialist ranks due to the complex negotiations on pensions that have jeopardized some measures. One of the criticisms coming from his companions in the socialist wing is that the minister lacks a political profile and goes it alone in some of these negotiations.