Marcelo immediately enacted the end of “expressions of interest” for immigrants; PS warns of unconstitutionality

The President of the Republic promulgated this Monday the Government diploma referring to the extinction of expressions of interest, which are currently the main form of legalization of immigrants in Portugal. And he justified the immediate promulgation of the diploma approved in the morning by the Council of Ministers with the “extremely urgent situation†that exists at the Agency for Integration, Migration and Asylum (AIMA ).

“Bearing in mind the extremely urgent situation of regularizing many thousands of pending residence permit processes, the President of the Republic promulgated a specific diploma which, respecting the situations existing to date , avoids overloading ongoing regularization processes with new expressions of interest, admitted in previous legislation†, reads the note released by the Presidency.

Migrants queue up at the door of AIMA, in Lisbon. On average, 700 new orders are being received per day

Tiago Miranda

Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa thus promulgates the diploma that amends Law No. 23/2007, of July 4, which “establishes the conditions and procedures for entry, stay, departure and removal and foreign citizens of the Portuguese territory, as well as long-term resident status,” adds the note.

The Government considers that the extinction of the exceptional regime “allows the permanent correction of irregular entries†, stated in the Action Plan for Migration, document presented this Monday. Foreign citizens who want to work in Portugal will, from now on, have to apply to Portuguese consulates for a visa for that purpose, prior to the decision to emigrate.

The PS, through the voice of its leader, Pedro Nuno Santos, has already criticized the end of this mechanism, warning that a vacuum situation could be created. “We could be creating a problem for the future†, warns the socialist leader, for whom the end of the expression of interest figure could create a “situation of emptiness†and great injustice, such as having immigrants working and paying in Portugal, but without benefiting from any rights.

Former minister Ana Catarina Mendes disagrees that this change can be made by decree. “We are talking about rights, freedoms and guarantees and it should go through the Assembly of the Republic†said Ana Catarina Mendes in an interview with RTP2.

“I don’t want to be unpleasant, but the Foreigners Law is, to a large extent, a legislative reserve matter for the AR (as it concerns rights, freedoms and guarantees). Are the government and PR absolutely sure they can change it by decree-law?†asked, on social network X, the former Secretary of State for European Affairs, Tiago Antunes.

Note: text changed at 10pm, with PS position and questions


Francesco Giganti

Journalist, social media, blogger and pop culture obsessive in newshubpro

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