Academic journal article Migration Letters

Inmigración Y Democracia

Academic journal article Migration Letters

Inmigración Y Democracia

Article excerpt

Eliseo Aja, Inmigración y Democracia, Leuven: Alianza Editorial, 2012, 552 pp., (ISBN: 978-8420673837).

Two decades after the unpredicted immigration boom in the 1990s, the relationship between migration and society is still unclear in Spain. The book "Inmigración y Democracia" offers evidence for considering immigration as a consolidating phenomenon in Spain but also as a challenge for the coming decades. The book examines main challenges that immigration poses for the democratic system, particularly in areas such as administrative procedures, rights and entitlements, and integration policies.

The impact of immigration on society requires a rethinking of the democratic principles on which the modern state was built. Aligning democratic principles with the requirements of immigration and promoting a sustainable migration policy are two key lines of discussion. Controlling migration may appear as the main goal which cannot be achieved by ignoring the principles and rules of democracy. Migration polices can be moderated but democracy must be ensured for all residents (p.534).

The book points out some legal changes in controlling and regularising immigration. It describes public policies implemented by central and territorial governments in order to improve diversity and cohesion. In Spanish context, it is argued that court decisions have played a significant role. Another section of the book argues for the promotion of the right to vote for regular migrants. "...Democratic system is forced to include all groups population..." "... is truly a low quality democracy if it excluded all social sector of migrants..." (pp. 416-417). In this sense, extending political rights to migrants in national, regional and local elections is a necessary adjustment that democracies have to embrace. This can also be useful in eradicating racism and xenophobia.

Encouraging regular migration within a border control policy is proposed as a way forward. It means tight border controls border, deportation of irregular migrants but also a strict monitoring of human rights against the standards set out by the ECtHR. …

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