The Spanish parliament is drafting a law to grant unauthorized migrants amnesty.

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Reuters, MADRID, April 9 – Based on a proposal by civil society organizations that had gathered more than 600,000 signatures in support of it, the lower chamber of parliament in Spain voted on Tuesday to begin working on a bill that would legalize hundreds of thousands of undocumented migrants.
Now, before a final vote and amendment to the idea, political parties have up to two months to decide how to legalize the hundreds of thousands of undocumented migrants now residing in Spain.

The initiative, known as #RegularizacionYa, is the brainchild of over 900 non-governmental organizations and rights groups. They believe that there may be as many as 500,000 undocumented migrants in Spain, with about one-third of them being minors.
According to Jesus Fernandez Huerta, a migration expert, this number may have dropped to less than 300,000 due to recent modifications to the legislation governing work permits and visas for foreign nationals.

The Spanish Catholic Church urged political parties to back the bill in a statement released over the weekend. At the last minute, the conservative opposition People’s Party decided to support the idea.
Vox, a far-right anti-immigration party, was the only one to vote against the bill, casting 310 of the 343 total votes cast in favor of it.
Though initially sceptical, the Socialist-led leftist ruling coalition ultimately decided to support the initiative—as long as it was modified thereafter.

A comparable policy was implemented in Spain in 2005 when the country’s former socialist government gave amnesty to some 800,000 undocumented citizens.
At an all-time high of 21 million legal workers in March, Spain is home to a sizable population of legal immigrants who frequently earn lower earnings. According to recent data compiled by the research tank Funcas, Spain has a higher percentage of foreign residents than the EU average (17.1%) with 18.1%.

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