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Covid-19 worsens plight of undocumented in Catalonia

Càritas estimates around 100,000 people do not have residency permits

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13 April 2021 03:01 PM

by

ACN|Barcelona

Undocumented migrants are far more likely to be out of work or in precarious employment than people with work and residency permits, and, according to a report by the Càritas nonprofit, they now face a four times higher risk of poverty than Spanish citizens in Catalonia.

Presented by the Taula del Tercer Sector association on Tuesday, 'Paper borders: administrative irregularity and the invisibility of people' details the ways in which Covid-19 has worsened the living conditions of the undocumented.

Of Catalonia's over a million foreign-born residents, around 100,000 are thought to lack work and residency permits, hindering their access to housing, employment, education, and participation in society and politics.

"These are people who want to make this place their home," said Taula del Tercer Sector president Francina Alsina, describing their predicament as "dehumanizing." "But they are then subjected to multiple requirements that make it impossible for them to become full citizens."

And while the pandemic has had wide-reaching societal effects, irregular migrants have been left to weather the storm with far fewer resources, especially public ones as they are not eligible for Spain's basic income for impoverished households or Catalonia's guaranteed income program. 

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  • A man in Lleida holds up a sign calling for the regularization of undocumented migrants (by Anna Berga)

  • A man in Lleida holds up a sign calling for the regularization of undocumented migrants (by Anna Berga)

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