Spanish police smash illegal Chinese immigration ring
03/30/2009 7:59 PM
MADRID – Spanish police said Monday they had smashed an illegal immigration ring with the arrest of over 50 Chinese nationals in the northeastern Barcelona region.
The group, which was “well structured”, would ease the illegal entry of Chinese immigrants to the country and provide them with fake documents, said a Barcelona police spokesman.
The arrests were carried out in Barcelona, Spain's second-largest city, and the neighbouring city of Badalona, he added.
Spain has been a key entry point in Europe for illegal immigrants, mostly from Africa.
After providing a legal amnesty for over 500,000 undocumented immigrants in 2005, the Socialist government of Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero has sought to make it more difficult for illegal workers to enter the country.
Border controls have been beefed up while the number of illegal immigrants who are repatriated to their home countries has increased.
The number of immigrants in Spain shot up from 500,000 people in 1996 to 5.2 million currently, mainly from Latin America, eastern Europe and north Africa, out of a total population of 46 million.
as of 03/30/2009 7:59 PM