“The idea that Portugal is very open to immigrants and that it helps immigrants to grow is, in fact, a fantasy”, said Aisha Noir, one of the participants in the demonstration which brought together, in Lisbon yesterday, representatives of around 20 organizations supporting immigrants and defending human rights.

Aisha Noir, a transgender Brazilian woman living in Portugal, says she feels the racist, transphobic stares every day.

The Brazilian, who lived in the Netherlands before arriving in Portugal, said that when she arrived in Portugal and felt the look of hatred for being a trans woman, this was something that shocked her.

In the demonstration, which began in Praça Luís de Camões, several immigrants shared their experiences of discrimination as immigrants in Portugal, with the Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF) was the main target of the revolt of these citizens.

“We came to say enough to violence at SEF, because the situation has lately been unsustainable. We are thousands of people trying to do our renovations and residence permits, thousands of times a day trying to contact SEF by phone, and we can't get in touch”, said Vicente, from the LX Mutual Support Network, one of the promoters of the event.

He points out two situations that waiting times from SEF are one of the reasons that justify the demonstrations.

Protesters defend the immediate extinction of the SEF, but also that it be replaced by “a quality public service, of a civil order, that treats immigrants in an equal situation, that is guided not by the issue of security, seeing immigrants, not as a threat to public security, but as a matter of access to basic and fundamental human rights,” he said.