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Immigration to Spain: Implications for a Unified European Union Immigration Policy

Laura Huntoon
The International Migration Review
Vol. 32, No. 2 (Summer, 1998), pp. 423-450
DOI: 10.2307/2547190
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2547190
Page Count: 28
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Immigration to Spain: Implications for a Unified European Union Immigration Policy
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Abstract

This article examines the difficulties of establishing a joint policy regarding the free movement of people within the European Union by focusing on changing immigration policies in one member - Spain. Previous studies have shown that negotiations toward harmonizing national policies on border control and immigration among EU members have many sticking points. By comparing Spain, a country of recent immigration, to Germany, a country with a longer history of non-European immigration, the difficulties of harmonizing immigration policies to satisfy this varied constituency become clearer. Administrative control of entry, estimates of legal and illegal immigrants present, and the current state of bilateral relations with Morocco are examined to illustrate the political difficulties of a unified immigration policy within Spanish society and for the EU. Spain is a threshold to the EU as well as a destination. Conclusions suggest that control of borders, although difficult, may be the easier part of implementing a joint immigration policy. Control of settlement is more difficult and problematic, involving the role of immigrants in European society. Moreover, high rates of native unemployment may coexist with immigration, given local demand for low-skilled, low-paid workers.

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