The following entry is taken from the source: “Centros de Internamiento de Extranjeros (CIE): Migraciones.” Diccionario de Asilo. CEAR. https://diccionario.cear-euskadi.org/centros-de-internamiento-de-extranjeros-cie/.
Immigrant Internment Centers (in Spain) are public facilities of a non-penitentiary nature where foreigners in irregular situations are detained in order to facilitate their deportation, depriving them of their freedom for up to 60 days.
Given that the lack of documentation is a civil offense, they are not formally considered to be “detention centers” but rather “internment centers.”
They are run by the Interior Ministry through the General Police Directorate, therefore, in the legal system of Spain, they should be understood as “extensions of police detention.”
Currently, there exist seven immigrant internment centers in the Spanish State: Madrid (Aluche), Barcelona (Zona Franca), Murcia (Sangonera), Valencia (Zapadores), Algeciras (La Piñera), Tenerife (Hoya Fría) and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (Barranco Seco). In addition, other facilities, such as Las Palomas in Tarifa, achieve the same purpose but are not included on the official list. The immigrant internment centers in Málaga and Fuerteventura closed in 2012.
The Interior Ministry has not made information about these immigrant internment centers public, but it’s estimated that around 1,000 people are interned each month, of which slightly over half are ultimately deported. This lack of proportionality, necessity, and “effectiveness” of the sanction makes the interment a preventive measure- prior to deportation- that is unjust and discriminatory according to the International Right to Human Rights.
Immigrant internment centers were created by the Ley de Extranjería of 1985 and regulated, 14 years later, by a Ministerial order about their operating policies and interior management. The Ley de Extranjería of 2009 establishes a period of six months for the approval of a new regulation of the functioning of immigrant internment centers. The Real Decreto 162/2014 was issued on March 14th of 2014, which approves the operating policies and interior management of the immigrant internment centers. This policy does not mention an obligation to inform detainees of the possibility to apply for asylum, legalizes stripping people down, allows police to use firearms inside of the center, facilitates the private management of activity, and intensifies the penal nature of the centers.
In Europe and its borders, the number of places of internment has increased from 324 in 2000 to 473 in 2012. Counting only closed centers, the fifth edition of the “Mapa de los Campos” by Migreurop identifies 473 centers in 44 countries with a known total internment capacity of almost 37,000. In 2012, 570,660 immigrants were detained in European Union territory, of which 252,785 were deported.
Many social organizations, institutions, and international entities have denounced the lack of transparency and the living conditions of interned people, who suffer mistreatment, isolation, and violations of their fundamental rights. Among other serious situations, it has been proved that women have been the victims of human trafficking and other forms of violence, and in many cases have been deported without having been informed of their right to seek asylum. Light has still not been shed on the deaths of Samba Martine in the center in Aluche or the deaths of Idrissa Diallo and Aramis Manukyan in the center in Zona Franca.
According to a complaint filed by the border observatory of Migreurop, “closed” centers- authentic places of the privation of freedom- serve, in general, to identify people and examine their situation with regards to their admission to or deportation from the territory. But other places that are considered to be “open,” mostly provisional lodgings for asylum seekers in isolated areas, follow the same logic: under the pretext of “taking in” immigrants, it allows for their administrative and social control.
Added to these official forms of detention are the “invisible” places of internment, informal spaces in which, with the pretext of an emergency, authorities detain people out of sight and at the margins of legality (in police stations, stadiums, parking lots, prisons, (air)ports, hotel rooms, etc.). Ultimately, the segregation of foreigners condemns them to wandering about and confines them to the limits of border zones and neighborhoods in which they have no choice but to remain and be subjected to precarity.
References Campaña por el cierre de los CIE (2013): ¿Cuál es el delito? Informe de la Campaña por el cierre de los Centros de Internamiento: el caso de Zapadores. CEAR (2009): Situación de los Centros de Internamiento para Extranjeros en España. Informe Técnico en el marco del estudio europeo DEVAS. Ley Orgánica 4/2000, de 11 de enero, sobre derechos y libertades de los extranjeros en España y su integración social. Ley Orgánica 7/1985, de 1 de julio, sobre derechos y libertades de los extranjeros en España. Manzaneda, C. (2014): Luces y sombras del nuevo reglamento de los CIE. El País, 19 de marzo de 2014. Migreurop (2013): Boletín nº 2, abril de 2013. Orden Ministerial de 22 de febrero de 1999, sobre normas de funcionamiento y régimen interior de los CIE. Pueblos Unidos (2013): Atrapados tras las rejas. Informe 2012 sobre los Centros de Internamiento de Extranjeros (CIE) en España. Marzo 2013. Real Decreto 162/2014, de 14 de marzo, por el que se aprueba el reglamento de funcionamiento y régimen interior de los centros de internamiento de extranjeros. VV.AA. (2013): ¿Qué hacemos para conectar la crítica a la movilidad en el capitalismo con la lucha contra las políticas migratorias y las fronteras? AKAL, Madrid. Women’s Link Worldwide (2012): Mujeres en los centros de internamiento de extranjeros (CIE). Realidades entre rejas. by CEAR