Ecuador Urges EU To Abolish Laws Against Irregular Immigration

Ecuador urges EU to abolish laws against irregular immigration []
2008-06-10 10:13:25

QUITO, June 9 (Xinhua) — Ecuador announced Monday it will ask the European Union (EU) to abolish the laws it approved to punish undocumented foreigners in its territory.

Ecuadorian Immigrant Minister Lorena Escudero said the so-called “Return Directive,” which established common expulsion rules for illegals and was approved by the interior ministers of the 27 member countries of the EU last week in Luxembourg, was “a backlash” and represented a tendency to incriminate irregular immigrants.

The law will be discussed by the European Parliament in mid-June.

More than 1.2 million Ecuadorians have legally or illegally migrated to the United States and Europe in the last eight years. Ecuadorian authorities estimate that some 700,000 Ecuadorians are living in Spain.

“We will keep on fighting for the fundamental rights (of the undocumented),” said Escudero. “Because most of the laws made on migration issues are based on the safety of the EU countries but not on the human rights.”

Harshly criticized by human rights organizations, the new laws on undocumented immigrants permit national authorities of the EU countries to choose between legitimizing the illegal immigrants or expelling them.