Thursday, September 16

The Ombudsman warns Interior that the latest returns of minors from Ceuta are illegal

The Ombudsman warned the Ministry of the Interior last Friday that the agreement between Morocco and Spain, to which Fernando Grande-Marlaska continues to cling to defend the returns of minors from Ceuta, requires compliance with Spanish and international legislation in each of the returns practiced. In the argumentation of his recommendation, published this Wednesday, Francisco Fernández Marugán already alerted the minister that the expulsions of children and adolescents, as they have been carried out in recent days, are not legal.

Marlaska downgrades the judicial stoppage of returns to a “legal-technical interpretation”

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“In view of the actions carried out, this institution is in a position to affirm that the procedure followed today to return to Morocco a group of minors, whose number is unknown, does not comply with the legally established requirements,” he said. Fernández Marugán in the text of the reminder sent to the Interior on Friday, in which he asked for the suspension of these repatriations. The Ombudsman is concerned “very especially” with the “failure to comply with the obligation to listen to the minor, and the absence of a prior report from the services for the protection of minors and the prosecution service.”

Both the Minister of the Interior and the President of Ceuta have defended the legal basis of their operation for the return of minors by appealing to the 2007 agreement with Morocco. According to their thesis, the returns of minors do not have to comply with the individualized study of the cases required in the Immigration Law, something denied by the Ombudsman’s team of experts. The institution recalls that, first of all, the bilateral pact requires compliance with Spanish legislation.

“After the entry into force of the Regulation on immigration in 2011, and after the doctrine established by the Constitutional Court, there is no doubt about the procedure to be followed”, Fernández Marugán ditch.

The thesis of Marlaska and Vivas

The President of the Government of Ceuta questioned this Tuesday that the conditions under which Spain and Morocco agreed to start on Friday the repatriation of migrant children alone to the neighboring country should be subject to the Aliens Law and pointed out that this is a “legal” dilemma. that he hopes that the courts will resolve by Friday, the period in which forced returns have been suspended.

“The agreement only says that the governments will agree on how to carry them out, always fulfilling the good of interest of the minor. Nowhere does it say that you have to have individualized interviews,” insisted the local president. The agreement with Morocco, however, does not exempt from compliance with the legislation, as a Ceuta court has concluded and the legal sources consulted by reiterate.

Grande-Marlaska, for his part, once again defended the returns of minors on Tuesday, clinging to the pact with Morocco. “When there is a reality with a specific country, an agreement is signed” and then there is “the technical-legal discussion of the procedure,” he said in an interview with RNE.

The Interior has asked the Contentious-Administrative Chamber to reject the appeal presented by the Spanish Association for Immigration and Refugee Assistance against the return of unaccompanied minors from Ceuta. The portfolio led by Fernando Grande-Marlaska has argued that it is not the competent administration in this process and that these events are already being analyzed by a Ceuta court.

The Contentious-Administrative Chamber of the National Court had demanded that the Ministry of the Interior send within a period of 24 hours the official letter of August 10 in which the Secretary of State for Security bases the repatriation of minors under the Agreement of 2007 signed with Rabat.

“The document whose copy is requested is limited to showing that the Ministry of the Interior requests that the minors be returned respecting their interests or rights,” Interior responds in an appeal signed by the Secretary of State for Security, Rafael Pérez, in line with what is defended by the Interior these days: that it is the Government of Ceuta that proceeded to request the return of the minors.