SEF admits illegal immigration route established to the Algarve

in News · 22-07-2020 18:13:00 · 3 Comments

The union representing SEF inspectors has stated that there is an established illegal immigration route to the Algarve and that Portugal is being used as a gateway to Europe.

“The evidence cannot be denied and there is a reality here. There is a route and we are a destination,” union president Acácio Pereira told the Lusa news agency, after another 21 migrants from Morocco arrived in the Algarve on 21 July.

In total, 69 migrants have already illegally landed and been intercepted on the Algarve coast since December last year.

The president of the Union for the Investigation and Inspection Career of the Foreigners and Borders Service (SCIF-SEF) stressed that at the moment this is a route from Morocco, but could become a route from North Africa.

Acácio Pereira explained that Portugal works “as a gateway” for immigration to Europe and that only a small number of migrants remain in the country, with the objective of being able to enter Europe through Portugal and then look for other destinations.

He confirmed that these are cases of migrants who arrived in Portugal in recent months and, while waiting for the conclusion of their process, fled the country.

The president of the union representing SEF inspectors considered that “it is lack of political clarity not to admit” that there is an illegal immigration route to the Algarve.

"Things must be assumed and dealt with properly, this is the only way to resolve them," he said, stressing that, "while Spain already has readmission and return agreements with Morocco", Portugal is still in negotiations for a settlement agreement for illegal immigration with the country.

"These are two close countries and these issues should have been resolved a long time ago," he said.

Acácio Pereira also said that the Integrated Surveillance and Command and Control System (SIVIC) “never worked” and “never managed” to detect the five vessels that reached the Algarve coast.

“In all situations, none of them were detected by the radars. This is a shame, this shames the country, this shows the vulnerability of the coast”, he maintained.

The president of SCIF-SEF also noted that the Foreigners and Borders Service has been able to give “an immediate response”, but considered that Portugal is not prepared for these situations, since the most important element is the temporary housing of migrants while waiting for the completion of the process.

"Portugal does not have a single temporary housing centre, except for the Santo António housing unit in Porto, where these people can wait," he said.

According to Acácio Pereira, these migrants are accommodated in SEF centres at Faro and Porto airports, but these places are intended for illegal passengers on flights arriving in Portugal who stay for periods of up to 48 hours and not for detentions, which can reach 60 days.

The union president said that the airport centres have “small” facilities, in addition to not having the conditions of security or dignity for these long-term stays.

A group of 21 migrants, apparently Moroccan, according to the authorities, was intercepted on the beach of Ilha do Farol, Faro municipality, on 21 July, having spent the night in a pavilion in Olhão, where they are under the guard of SEF and GNR.

This is the fourth case recorded this year, the third since the beginning of June, involving migrants allegedly of Moroccan origin who landed in the Algarve.


Yes Juha. Portugal is a really good place to be, the best, by comparison to every other country I know about. That is why I am so worried to hear about the changes that are threatening to happen.

By Kari Lehto from Other on 23-07-2020 07:23

How is a tourist, escaping the horror of immigrant violence in their own country, blocked by pandemics, now supposed to return to the Algarve?

By Kari Lehto from Other on 23-07-2020 10:45

Hopefully, Portugal will be able to keep the situation under control, as will not be the case in Barcelona. There the situation in this regard is as follows. If you visit a some restaurant in city by eating and staying longer.

The first time you’re tried to rob at the end of the evening is when you step out the restaurant door. Illegal immigrants are waiting for you in a group of 5-6 people around the corner.

The next attempt is at the subway entrance or in the hallways.

The next robbery attempt on the subway.

Next time at your destination subway station.

And for the last time 100m from your door.

If you are not in really good shape and ready to defend yourself then at some point you will be robbed of the above. I tell the truth while living there some years.

By Juha Malinen from Lisbon on 22-07-2020 08:53
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