Migrant groups and organizations gather the necessary signatures to push forward an initiative that forces the Spanish Congress to debate an extraordinary regularization that would benefit more than half a million people.
Migrant and anti-racist pride. This is the only way to define how groups and organizations of migrated and racialized people feel today after reaching a milestone in history: gathering more than 500,000 signatures from citizens to push forward a Popular Legislative Initiative (ILP) and remove more than half a million people from the irregular administrative situation in which they live, which leads them to exclusion processes and violates their fundamental rights.
This milestone would not have been possible without the network work of a multitude of collectives and social agents, such as #RegularizaciónYa, the Fundación para la Ciudadanía Global or Alianza por la Solidaridad, among others, articulated through the Esenciales platform, which has given voice to the demands of hundreds of thousands of people. In addition, the initiative has gathered the support of hundreds of entities from all over the State, which have expressed their support for the regularization proposal.
In fact, this victory of the self-organization of migrant and anti-racist groups goes beyond the ILP itself and involves writing its own history to build a more just society. "We are very happy because we have made history, we have collected more signatures than many campaigns on very relevant issues that have happened in this country, and this is a milestone and a great pride, especially because it is a struggle driven by migrant groups and anti-racists", Lamine Sarr, one of the spokespersons for #RegularizaciónYa, explains to Xarxanet and Nonprofit.
The tireless mobilization of these groups to achieve full rights for all people comes from a long way off, but the concrete struggle for the Congress of Deputies to debate the proposal for extraordinary regularization began in the spring of 2020. From then, a huge amount of work has been carried out to add complicities and reach the set objective. A goal that has been exceeded by far – more than 600,000 signatures have been collected, some pending validation – and it is already one of the ILPs with the most signatures in the history of Spanish democracy.
A long road that has not been easy
The process of collecting the rubrics to carry out the ILP has not been easy. It has required the inexhaustible work and constant mobilization of many people from the movements and promoting organizations, who have not stopped going to any event, demonstration and space where they could gather support.
"It's been hard, because it's not easy to ask people to give you their data and sign for an initiative like this, and we've had a hard time and we've gone through difficult times throughout the process, which has been long, but we've managed to keep constancy and in the end we reached the goal", explains Sarr.
On the way to get here, they have been able to feel the warmth and support of many people. However, they have not always found all the support they would like. In fact, during all this time, they have also had to face the most bitter face: the intolerance of many people towards their cause, which the movement attributes to the racism that lives on in society: "we have encountered the rejection of many people, we already know that there is racism here and we have also been able to see it and it has affected us in the collection, especially on the street", says Sarr.
Now it's the turn of politics
Far from ending here, the process for the State to approve the extraordinary and massive regularization of more than half a million people has only just begun. Once the necessary signatures have been gathered to force legislative debate on the proposal, it is now the turn of politics. From the delivery of the signatures, the Congress of Deputies has a maximum period of six months to discuss the regularization. After the parliamentary debate, the chamber can approve the proposal in its entirety or with modifications, or reject it.
How do they see it from the movement? "We have done our part, now it's the politicians, especially from the left-wing parties, who have to do the work and challenge the government so that regularization goes ahead and all the work we've done is not lost" , expresses the spokesperson of #RegularizaciónYa, who also hopes that the political class "doesn't miss the opportunity to get closer to the groups, entities, NGOs and all the people who have supported the initiative".
It would not be the first time that politics has ignored this cause. After all, the movements and collectives that claim mass regularization have accumulated many negatives and obstacles in their struggle. Like the one that started the non-law proposal (PNL) for regularization, promoted by #RegularizaciónYa in September 2020, which received a resounding knock on the door in Congress.
A success that questions migration policies
In any case, the massive support of more than half a million citizens for the ILP is a strong reason to make the political class and society reflect on the migration policies of the State, embodied in an immigration law that continues to pour every day thousands of people to the vulnerability and the anxiety of being able to be expelled from the country at any time.
"The success we have achieved is a signal to the authorities so that they are clear that many people are on our side and are radically against these policies, at the same time it can open the door to push for the repeal of an immigration law which prevents many people from enjoying their dream and implies a huge inequality in terms of citizenship rights", argues Lamine Sarr.
Whatever happens, and as it has happened after not being heard so many times, the migrant and anti-racist movement will continue to persist until their longings are realized. And facing the racism that prevails in society, fueled by dehumanizing and death policies.
"We will continue to fight and denounce all the racism that exists on a national and European scale, with cases as bloody as the massacre in Melilla in June of this year, another example of not only social, but institutional racism, which is what affects us what's more, it puts limits on us and kills us", responds Sarr, who appeals to civil society and the public to "take to the streets, mobilize and pressure so that the work done is left to nothing".
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