The PP limits itself to unblocking a voluntary distribution of 347 minors and postpones the decision on making it mandatory

The agreement for the compulsory transfer of minor migrants from the Canary Islands remains blocked. After four hours of meetings, the Sectoral Conference on Children, held in Tenerife, has ended without progress on the reform of the immigration law that would alleviate the saturation of the centres of the archipelago. The autonomous communities under the PP have still not taken a position on the measure and have postponed their decision to study the text more closely. In addition, the councillors have criticised the fact that they were informed of the content of the draft only one day before the meeting between the State and the autonomy of the Canary Islands.

On the contrary, the communities agreed this Wednesday at the Children's Sector Conference on the voluntary referral of 347 children and adolescents, although it is estimated that the Canary Islands will have to transfer more than 2,000 minors to alleviate the emergency. The State and the communities have concluded the pact corresponding to 2024 of the non-binding distribution system that has existed for years and that has not solved the situation of minor migrants in the Islands because it is insufficient. This voluntary mechanism involves cumbersome procedures that prevent a rapid response to emergencies, to which is added the lack of compliance that usually characterizes some of the autonomous communities.

The voluntary distribution proposal was approved today by the autonomous communities, but was pending the previous sectoral conference of June 11, in which the regional governments blocked their support for the distribution. This is the current distribution proposal accepted by the communities for 2024, but it is not a new distribution mechanism, but has been in existence for a year. Vox, which had threatened to split the leadership in the autonomous communities, where they govern together with the PP, if an agreement were reached on the new system that was being debated, has announced that he will keep his promiseTo this end, he has announced a meeting of the Executive Committee of Santiago Abascal's formation at 6:30 p.m.

The support of the autonomous communities for the pact for the voluntary distribution of minors is no guarantee that the promised relocations will take place. The last data published by They show that twelve autonomies have not received any of the children they promised to welcome in 2023, despite the state funds allocated for this purpose. Of the 396 minors who had to be transferred to centres on the peninsula last year, 67 have been transferred, despite the fact that 20 million euros were distributed for their reception. ''80% of the transfers for 2023 have not yet been completed. What we see is that this mechanism made sense a few years ago. Now the phenomenon requires a dimensioned policy'', said the Minister of Children, Sira Rego.

The Partido Popular was not present at the visit to the youth centre in Tenerife who met on Wednesday for the Sectoral Conference on Children. No representative of the communities governed by Alberto Núñez Feijóo’s party has traveled to the Hoya Fría resort, a macro-center that currently houses 234 unaccompanied migrant children. “We ask the PP to find a place in its agenda and, before evaluating the reform of the immigration law, to come to one of these centers and look the children who are here in the eyes,” said the Minister of Youth and Childhood. Sira Rego, before participating in the meeting with the autonomous communities.

Financing details

For his part, the Minister of Territorial Policy, Ángel Víctor Torres, has assured that all political parties have had the draft legislative reform “for weeks”, since it was circulated before the round of contacts that Torres and the President of the Canary Islands, Fernando Clavijo, are having with the parliamentary groups.

In this sense, the Minister of Territorial Policy states that the PP's requirements regarding the financing of housing for minors have been met. ''More clarity has been included on financing. The text refers to the financing established at the sector conference of September 2022: 145 euros per boy or girl'', he noted. The Minister emphasizes that the State will offer communities resources for infrastructure and for the social and educational integration of minors. Once the amendment to the law is approved, the communities will have three months to include new proposals at the Sector Conference.

The Minister of Children, Sira Rego, has criticized the fact that the PP continues without taking a position on the reform of the legislation, despite the fact that it was the Feijo party that requested this sector conference. ''The government has responded. There is a problem and we are providing solutions. Since the beginning of the legislature, we have been working on immigration as something structural and dynamic,'' the minister said.

The next step, as reported by the minister, will be to obtain sufficient parliamentary majorities to make the legislative reform effective and thus “unblock” the situation of the resources of the Canary Islands from the perspective of human rights and the sustainability of the economy. the system. “We are working hard and we will start the parliamentary process in a few days. We will see how each party positions itself,” he said.

The position of the communities

Catalonia is the only community that abstained from voting on the voluntary distribution and has made some contributions to the reform of the immigration law. Catalan councillor Carles Campuzano has left the door open to support the measure if his amendments regarding the financing and the determination of the age of young people are taken into account. Campuzano assures that up to “400 minors have arrived in the region from the Canary Islands under the adult regime.”

The PP communities that attended the conference in person expressed their outright rejection of the introduction of mandatory reception of minors for all autonomous communities after the meeting. The Minister of Social Education of Andalusia, Loles López, insisted on Tuesday afternoon that she had taken note of the content of the text and stated that she could not support a text that she “does not know”. Asked about her sit-in during a visit to the Hoya Fría youth centre, the social worker replied that she was “preparing for the conference”.

Extremadura has rejected the idea of ​​an 'imposed' distribution of minors, so for now the community will limit itself to housing the 30 children provided for in the 2024 voluntary agreement. The representative of Extremadura, Sara García, also agrees. The advisor of Murcia, Conchita Ruiz, and the person responsible for the family of Castilla y León, Isabel Blanco, also agree that the measure is only a 'patch' for the arrival of migrants and urge the state to ' Make use of the European mechanisms for border control.

The Castilla y León confidant also assured that she did not attend the visit to the reception centre because she arrived on the island “almost at the time the visit began”. “I also invite the ministers and the president of the Canary Islands to come and see the centres and resources that we have in other communities for minors”, he said. Both Castilla La Mancha and Navarra, both with progressive governments, have announced their support for the measure of the compulsory distribution of young people from the islands in order to “guarantee the rights of boys and girls”.

The Canary Islands demand a decree law 'now'

The Minister of Social Affairs of the Government of the Canary Islands, Candelaria Delgado, has been “happy” with the approval of the voluntary transfer of 347 minors and has assured that it is a mechanism that “works”, despite data showing that last year 80% of referrals did not take place. “All the autonomous communities, without exception, have shown solidarity with the Canary Islands and have accepted the distribution”, he celebrated. Regarding the reform of the immigration law, Delgado has asked the ministers to “now” approve a decree-law that allows the State to intervene and promote mandatory referrals from the Canary Islands to the Peninsula.

The islands currently protect 5,600 unaccompanied minors in 80 open resources spread across the islands. The conditions of these resources have been questioned in recent months, when episodes of violence, verbal and physical attacks and a “lack of child protection” in emergency equipment have come to light. “The smaller centers are working correctly,” the adviser assured.

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