The Assembly of the Republic has debated the draft resolution of the CDS-PP (which was approved), whether the Government should submit to parliament the restructuring of SEF.
"It is impossible not to conclude that there are many people who look favourably on the separation between the police and administrative aspects of the European and national system of border control and management of issues related to foreigners," said PSD deputy José Magalhães.
For the PSD, deputy André Coelho Lima praised an "organic separation between police and administrative functions", but argued that "this change should be transversal to the whole internal security system" and not only occur in SEF.
The social-democrat MP also argued that "only one authority should have the dimension of integrated border management" and that Portugal "can only be represented" in the European border control agency Frontex by "police entities".
António Filipe also stressed that the PCP "looks very favourably on the idea of separation between security and administrative functions", considering that "one of the basic errors in the creation of the SEF was exactly that merger".
He also warned against the possibility of a "badly thought-out extinction of the SEF".
The CDS-PP parliamentary leader noted that the parties diverge on "the ideas and model of reform" of this service.
Pointing out that "everyone agrees that the administrative part is one thing, the security functions are another", Telmo Correia stressed that it is necessary to evaluate "whether it is by concentrating the criminal and the migratory part in the same body or not that we will respond better" to the reception of immigrants, stressing that the CDS defends that Portugal should "welcome" and integrate foreigners.
"After all, all benches are in agreement with the separation between the police and administrative functions of the SEF, and this is a win-win situation that would never have been evidenced with this clarity," said the Minister of Internal Administration at the close of the debate.
For Eduardo Cabrita, "what is at stake is to know who wants to implement it" and "who is here using parliamentary choreography mechanisms to truly intend that this be taken to the Greek calends".
The Council of Ministers' resolution that defines the political guidelines for the creation of the Foreigners and Asylum Service, which will succeed the SEF, establishes "the mainstays of a very clear organic separation between police functions and the administrative functions of authorising and documenting immigrants".
The resolution determines which of the SEF's police functions will be transferred to the National Republican Guard, the Public Security Police and the Judiciary Police, as well as the competences that will be transferred to the Institute of Registration and Notary Affairs, leaving the Foreigners and Asylum Service with "attributions of a technical-administrative nature".