Things have changed completely. The Spanish Government, faced with a massive construction bust, is effectively banning fresh immigration. This follows the launching of a plan earlier this year to pay immigrants to return home.
MADRID, Sept 4 (Reuters) - Spain, facing rapidly rising unemployment, will stop issuing visas to most migrant workers, the government said on Thursday. No more visas will be granted to low-skilled workers, such as those employed in restaurants and shops, a spokeswoman for the Labour and Immigration Ministry saidâ€¦ Labour Minister Celestino Corbacho told reporters on Wednesday the government would cut the number of work visas "to roughly zero" in 2009â€¦ The measure follows another decision to restrict family reunion visas, which the government had said would cut immigration by 40 percent.
(Spain to slash immigration as job queues grow By Jason Webb Reuters Thu 4 Sep 2008,)
Not all the motive is economic. A large proportion of the immigration is Muslim and also from sub-Saharan Africa, e.g. black.
Socialist Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero â€¦has done a U-turn on immigration since winning re-election. In March's vote, the opposition conservatives won working class support by playing on fears about Spain's growing Muslim community.
In the past decade, Spain has gone from being almost immigrant free to being 10% alien. But the Spanish people have reason to hope this damage may substantially repair itself. In any immigrant flow, a surprisingly large proportion goes home by choice â€“ quite apart from if they are paid to go. This and cutting off the inflow could alter the situation fast. And just being born in Spain does not give a baby Spanish citizenship, and hence the right or return, unlike the moronic US regulation.
A thought experiment: what if in Denver the Democrats, with their famous concern for the working man, had adopted the Spanish plan and moved to block unskilled immigration. And the Republicans, because of their reverence for the traditional nation, had adopted the proposed plank to end the birthright citizenship charade?
Well, if Spanish Socialists can see the lightâ€¦why not?