December 1, 2022

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Venezuelan immigrants in Spain are unemployed, eat in churches and live in small rooms with nothing

Venezuelan immigrants in Spain
Interview with four Latin American immigrants in Madrid: “There are days when we only eat once.” Photo: EFE / Louis Millan

Jonathan is from Venezuela. He has only been in Spain for 20 days and speaks as if he has already spent his entire life here. During this short time he had already worked and his employer refused to pay him, he had already shared “a small room with nothing” and he had already ordered food in the churches: “We only eat once”.

He entered Spain as a tourist like many Latinos, but he was in a state of disarray as he always had the intention of staying when he arrived.

A few days ago he demonstrated in front of a congress of Spanish delegates for Refugee Day in Madrid, where two hundred people demanded better access to administrative appointments in immigration to manage their situation.

Venezuelan immigrants
Jonathan has only been in Spain for 20 days and already speaks as if he has spent his entire life here. Photo: EFE / Louis Millan

Illegal in Spain

Now he has returned from Plaza Elliptica in Madrid, south of the city, where traders go with their vehicles and take immigrants on shifts, especially for construction and construction work.

He had no luck, he tells EFE, the police were “around” and some vehicles dared to stop in the face of possible fines and arrests: “A Latin life is hard because I come alone, I have nothing, I never thought they would not give you a job here!” We are in the 21st century and we live in slavery.

He laments that immigrants in irregular circumstances are “badly paid and humiliated” because “they treat us badly, they hire us, they do not want to pay us. Why don’t you give us a chance, maybe colleagues stay here to eat”.

Venezuela Jose received political asylum, despite this, and his job situation was not far off for Jonathan because asylum seekers had to wait six months from the time they applied for legal employment. Go to Plaza Elliptica at 5:30 am to test your luck. Photo: EFE / Louis Millan

“I have not yet found a good shape”

Because of the situation in Venezuela and the persecution of the police, he has sought political asylum.

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Nevertheless, his job situation is not far off from Jonathan because asylum seekers have to wait six months from the time they apply to apply for legal employment. Go to Plaza Elliptica at 5:30 am to test your luck.

“As many of us live, save one day’s work, two, until you’re paid for the room; if you do not work, there are churches and organizations that serve breakfast or lunch. If you work, you can go out and eat all day until noon. There are times to spend, you get paid. Buy something “, he tells EFE.

“I’m a professional butcher and truck driver, I’m never worked in the construction industry, I have good employers and other regulars, I’m not found good yet, but here we are,” he says paradoxically.

Alan is a Honduran national with a degree in international trade and had to leave his country due to gang pressure. Photo: EFE / Louis Millan

From Honduras

Alan Honduran, a graduate of international trade, was forced to flee his country due to gang pressure. He tried to enter the United States twice, and after two failed attempts he returned to Honduras “even worse” and marched to Spain.

“I had to come quietly, only my family knew I was leaving, and I came after selling everything,” the young man, who is forced to hide his circumstances from the family to avoid suffering, told EFE.

One of the biggest problems he and other immigrants face is the lack of appointments at the police station and immigration because, he explains, “searching the internet and not finding it, it’s closed, no, no.” There is only one way to enter and everywhere, payment.

From the College of Executive Managers of Catalonia, a situation arising out of an epidemic (Cocaine) Communication with “staff and system shortages”.

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Marc Giménez Bachmann, a spokeswoman for the Cogac Immigration and National Commission, has been advising for 25 years to formalize the situation of immigrants, telling EFE that there are “huge problems” in getting a meeting with the police.

“Non-EU citizens and even more EU citizens have a play because there is freedom of movement in the EU, they can come and work here, but they have to apply for the NIE – Foreign Identity Number, which has never had appointments, for which a social right is being violated,” he said. He adds.

According to criticism, it takes a Spanish citizen 10 minutes to renew his ID card, but it takes 45 days for a foreigner to receive any card.

Allen resigned himself and shared that they were “illegal people trying to do what is fair and good.”

“My family does not know my current situation. They ask me how I am. I tell them I’m fine.” , But at least they help us with the procedures. “

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