The highly controversial proposal is part of a maternity reform package presented by PP leader Pablo Casado to stave off what he has described as a “demographic winter” in Spain, where the fertility rate stands at 1.33 children per woman. In the European Union, only Portugal has a lower rate, of 1.29.
The PP has stressed that the protection from repatriation would only be temporary to cover the pregnancy period, offering women protection from any possibility of the police locating them from information given during the adoption process.
But CEAR, Spain’s state agency for refugees, said the proposal marked “another turn of the screw in the stigmatising of migrant peoples, in this case affecting the weakest link, pregnant women in irregular administrative situations”.
“This policy seems designed to cast a shadow of doubt over whether someone who is a migrant and a woman should be a mother at all,” Paloma Favieres, CEAR’s policy director, told The Telegraph.
“We have an immigration law with its mechanisms to grant exemptions to repatriation, and that law is the one that matters. It’s a ridiculous idea to regulate immigration with a maternity law.”