Civil guards and police celebrate the Strasbourg ruling on 'hot returns'

Police and civil guards are in luck. The decision of this Thursday of the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) that endorses the 'hot returns' on the border of Melilla and have taken the opportunity to launch different requests that range from reviewing the protocol of action to request greater involvement of the European institutions or reach a State Pact from the agreement with Morocco of 1992.

In a statement, the association of civil guards AUGC has valued the change of criteria of Strasbourg to "support" the police action in the immediate expulsion of two immigrants who jumped the fence of Melilla in 2014, to understand that "they put themselves in a situation of illegality when accessing unauthorized places using force ».

AUGC recalled that it had already requested the Ministry of Interior "greater legal guarantees for the work of civil guards at the border" and insists that this sentence "must imply a change in immigration legislation in which the protocol is clear of action of the agents against the irregular entry of migrants into Spanish territory ».

"In this sense," adds the professional association, "it must provide greater legal guarantee to the work of civil guards and protect borders effectively while guaranteeing the human rights of migrants."

AEGC has also assessed the ruling to maintain that the civil guards are "the great sufferers of these hot returns that start from regulations that are difficult to interpret." "It should be useful for Interior to give orders to write a protocol that prevents the actions of agents from being questioned," he said.

«Use of immigration»

From APROGC, another of the representative Civil Guard associations, they have valued both this ruling and previous ones such as the Tarajal. "The use of illegal immigration harms the professional interests of civil guards and can only be avoided if, as we have been asking for years, the political forces sign a state pact around the 1992 readmission agreement signed with Morocco."

This agreement, which was used by Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska, after the jump of 116 migrants to the Ceuta fence on August 22, 2018, is the solution for APROGC because it «allows immigrants to be identified, assisted healthily, attended by a lawyer and the possible request for asylum is also studied ”, all of this“ in the shortest possible time ”.

IGC, another of the Civil Guard associations, considers that border agents are "obliged" to prevent the entry of immigrants if they turn to areas that are not authorized, since the legislation establishes that they must stay and stay cannot be allowed " without minimum requirements imposed for reasons of public order and security ».

"However, for humanitarian and economic reasons, when they are advisable for European countries, forms of entry can be established for that purpose, and in that case the Civil Guard will be at the service of the general interest of Spain and the legal system", have added from IGC.

«They put themselves at risk»

From the Police, the SUP has argued that "always" has defended the legality of the actions of the comrades at the land borders of Ceuta and Melilla with Morocco. For them, the European Court of Human Rights confirms that "it was the attackers of the border fence who put themselves at risk."

The decision is to "dismantle the repeated campaigns of certain groups" that have tried to disqualify police action at the border and also "amend the Spanish policy on border security." In addition, from the SUP they interpret that it forces the European Union to treat the border of Melilla and Ceuta as a "community problem". "It is a Schengen external border and requires the commitment and involvement of the Member States," they emphasize.

"The ruling of the court makes it clear that the police action has been the right one," they said from another union, the SPP, with representation on the scale of command. "It guarantees that hot returns have been carried out within both the Spanish and European standards and, therefore, we congratulate ourselves on this," they have defended.

"In Spain," they added, "there are legal avenues to access the territory and make it clear that those channels are the ones to be used. It is very important to note that it was the immigrants who placed themselves in an illegal situation when using violence. In the absence of what the Constitutional Court says, it is a boost to the norm and to those who are responsible for complying with it.