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Positive and negative aspects of integration in Spain

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The integration in Spain has both positive and negative aspects. On the first hand, as positive aspects we can highlight:

  1. Legal integration: the Moroccans enjoy some special rights which make entitle them to receive the Spanish citizenship few years after they arrived in Spain, which makes easier their incorporation to the labor market and the legalization of their status. An example of these special rights would be the shortening of the process of the Spanish Citizenship request from those who lived in the territories that were formerly administered by the Spanish, such as the Ifni or Sahara provinces.
  2. Sense of acceptance. The sense that rejection does not exist or is expressed by a minority is related to the fact that there is no xenophobic party or movement of any consequence in Spain, something that has often been highlighted as one of the country’s achievements, particularly since no other European or Western country has received so much immigration per head during the period of greatest influx, between 1998 and 2007
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  4. Plans to remain: most immigrants either plan to remain in Spain or have no specific plans for the future, which amounts to remaining by default. Young people are the most resistant to the idea advanced by their parents of returning to their birth countries. This reluctance to return on the part of second generations, which is a well-known aspect of migration processes, leads to a stabilization in the migrant population.
  5. Absence of ethnic enclaves: clearly the immigrant population is not distributed evenly across Spanish cities and towns, instead it tends to be concentrated specific neighborhoods and districts. To date however there has been no sign of immigrant enclaves, neighborhoods that the indigenous population have abandoned in the wake of the immigrant arrivals. There is no equivalent in Spain to the Brussels suburb of Molenbeek, with its predominantly Moroccan population. Faced with a shortage of low-cost public housing, immigrants have turned to the market in search of accommodation, dispersing themselves among the Spanish and thereby fostering social integration through neighborly relations. The non-EU immigrant populations from relatively poor countries tend to be concentrated in two types of urban district: peripheral areas characterized by cheap housing and an old population (such as San Cristóbal in Madrid and Juan XXIII in Alicante), and districts in run-down city centers with abundant low-quality housing (such as Lavapiés and El Raval).
  6. Islamist radicalization among Arab immigrants is very low in Spain compared to what has been observed in Belgium, the UK, France and Germany. Relative to its population very few combatants have left Spain to join the ranks of the so-called Islamic State

In contrast with these positive aspects there are also some other negative:

  1. Unemployment, low salaries, job insecurity and poverty affect the immigrant population disproportionately: 52% of Moroccans were unemployed at the end of 2014. However, in 2014 and 2015, the employment rate among immigrants grew by 10 points compared with only 4 points among those born in Spain.
  2. Residential evictions have hit this group especially hard: As a group, immigrants have been more affected than native Spaniards by eviction notices, owing to their relative economic precariousness and their lack of family support networks.
  3. The integration of the Muslim population is not assured: Muslim immigrants in Spain continue to encounter obstacles to the practice of their religion on a range of fronts: the building of mosques; burials; harmonizing some of their most important religious festivals such as Eid with the working calendar; and the teaching of their religion in classrooms. Only in places where there is a particular concentration of Muslims, such as Ceuta, Melilla and various municipalities in the South-East, have the local authorities drawn up specific integration policies in this regard. Although the Spanish State is officially non-denominational, in practice the Roman Catholic Church and faith enjoy privileges that the other faiths decry; these especially effect Islam, the country’s second most important religion by number of adherents. The clearest manifestation of this discrimination is the building of mosques. Buildings devoted to religious worship are not granted any special status in town planning, but Spanish local authorities find no difficulties in earmarking land for the construction of Roman Catholic churches when designing new neighborhoods. When a Muslim community sets out to build a mosque, on the other hand, it frequently has to face the opposition of a section of the local residents, with the not uncommon result that mosques end up being opened in industrial premises on the outskirts of cities.
  4. The risk of Islamist radicalization and violence. Although, as pointed out above, Islamist radicalization in Spain is relatively minor compared to other European countries, it exists, and demands unstinting vigilance from the security and intelligence forces, focusing on three areas in particular: Ceuta, Melilla and Catalonia. The majority of Spanish Jihadists who have travelled to Syria and Iraq to join the ranks of Islamic State have started the journey from Ceuta or Melilla, cities that have become predominantly Muslim. The police in Catalonia have dismantled various networks that were allegedly preparing terrorist attacks.
  5. The second-generation immigrants are facing a worse labor market than the one their parents encountered when they came. As stated before, few of them attend post-obligatory courses and are very often poorly-qualified. The number of jobs available for people with low qualifications continues to fall in Spain, as everywhere else in Europe, and this means a significant problem of social integration on the long term.
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GradesFixer. (2018, December, 03) Positive and negative aspects of integration in Spain. Retrived July 5, 2020, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/positive-and-negative-aspects-of-integration-in-spain/
"Positive and negative aspects of integration in Spain." GradesFixer, 03 Dec. 2018, https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/positive-and-negative-aspects-of-integration-in-spain/. Accessed 5 July 2020.
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