Spain’s Interior Ministry has announced that due the COVID-19 crisis it has freed all undocumented migrants awaiting processing in five of the country’s eight Internment Centers for Foreigners (CIEs) and expects to free the remaining 34 detainees in three other centers in the coming days.
According to Spanish law, the maximum duration of internment in the centres is 60 days, after which the detainee must be released or returned to his or her country of origin.
Non-prison police facilities designed to enable processing of undocumented migrants’ claims to remain in Spain on political asylum or other grounds, the CIEs fall under the jurisdiction of Spain’s Interior Ministry.
According to the ministry, following the decreed “state of alarm” on 14th March over the coronavirus crisis it has been gradually releasing migrants detained in these centers leading up to the 60-day deadline for their legal detention.
The ministry said because of border closures, it has been unable to return the migrants to their home countries and at the same time is unable to guarantee adequate social distancing among inmates due to the crowded conditions in the centres. Prior to the state-of-alarm decree, the centres were at 59 percent occupation capacity, according to the ministry. Sadly, it is not jsut detnetion centres that have struggled with implementing social distancing measure. Workplace social distancing has been particularly challenging across the globe and resulted in many people having to stop working or work from home. Thankfully, solutions are finally starting to come to the fore. You can get more here on what these entail and how your workplace can start to adjust successfully to the new normal.
The release of irregular migrants held in these centers was to be completed on Monday, but according to the ministry as of Monday 22 migrants remained in the CIE in Murcia, 10 in Valencia and two in Algeciras (Cádiz).
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