The Constitutional Court has endorsed the Citizen Security Law in practically all its extremes, including the hot expulsions of immigrants who try to jump the fences of Ceuta and Melilla to enter Spanish territory. The sentence, approved by nine votes in favor and two against, only eliminates as unconstitutional a subsection of article 36 of the so-called gag law, which pursued the “unauthorized” use of recordings in which members of the bodies and forces appeared. state security.
Since yesterday the Ministry of the Interior has the endorsement of this Constitutional ruling to maintain the rejection of illegal immigration in Ceuta and Melilla at the border, which were the assumptions mentioned in the contested provision of the Citizen Security Law. There are only two exceptions for hot returns, minors and people belonging to vulnerable groups, such as the elderly or pregnant women, cases these are exceptional in attempts to jump over the border fences.
The ruling will not condition eventual changes in the legislation, but it makes it very clear that the Government can carry out hot expulsions of those who have tried to jump the fences, with the aforementioned exceptions. What the Constitutional Court has done is what is known as a “conforming interpretation” of the Magna Carta of the tenth additional provision of the Citizen Security Law. This precept establishes in its first paragraph that “foreigners who are detected in the border line of the territorial demarcation of Ceuta or Melilla while trying to overcome the border containment elements to cross the border irregularly may be rejected in order to prevent their illegal entry into Spain”.
The court of guarantees wanted to make it clear yesterday that its decision conforms to the doctrine of the sentence that the European Court of Human Rights issued last February. In this ruling, the Strasbourg Court agreed with the Spanish State in relation to the immediate expulsion of two immigrants, from Mali and Ivory Coast, respectively, who jumped over the Melilla border fence in August 2014.
The two magistrates who voted yesterday against the Constitutional decision were María Luisa Balaguer and Cándido Conde Pumpido, both from the progressive sector. The first will make a dissenting opinion in writing. The second emphasized the requirement that offices for the attention of specific cases function effectively, so that point 3 of the aforementioned final provision is fulfilled, which provides that “applications for international protection will be formalized in the places authorized for this purpose at border crossings and will be processed in accordance with the provisions of international protection regulations ”.
The key paragraph of the judgment establishes that “refusal at the border is a material action of a coercive nature, which is intended to immediately reestablish the legality violated by the attempt by foreigners to cross that specific land border irregularly.” And it specifies that “the material performance [será constitucional], without prejudice to the judicial control that may be carried out by virtue of the actions and remedies filed, in each specific case, by the foreign person ”. The Constitutional Court also added yesterday that “the rejection will be carried out in compliance with international regulations on human rights and international protection of which Spain is a party.”
These paragraphs, in any case, do not condition the expulsions in hot, to the extent that the aforementioned judgment of the Strasbourg Court already endorsed this response to illegal immigration in light of the international agreements signed by Spain. With this, the Strasbourg Court corrected itself, since in a first ruling it had supported the demand of the two expelled immigrants. The current government, in turn, supported the appeal.
In other aspects, the Constitutional ruling only makes an objection to the law, by suppressing the possibility of prior control in the capture of images of agents of the State security forces and bodies. The court has considered that this control amounted to prior censorship, and has declared it unconstitutional. Therefore, the provision that the “unauthorized” use of said images will be a serious offense is eliminated. The first draft of the ruling, prepared by magistrate Fernando Valdés, already provided for this mark of unconstitutionality.
The sentence admits the demonstrations before Congress, but provided that they do not involve a “serious disturbance of citizen security.” Body searches are also allowed, “which may even lead to partial nudity” if there are “rational indications” that the controlled person may carry “objects” useful to commit “a crime or offense”.