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Melilla President Opposes Giving Spanish Nationality to Moroccan Babies

The president of the Spanish enclave of Melilla wants to abolish a law which grants Spanish nationality to Moroccans born in the city.

Rabat – The president of the Spanish enclave of Melilla, Juan Jose Imbroda, has demanded a change in the Spanish civil code to no longer grant Spanish nationality to Moroccans born in Melilla.

Imbroda will present his demand to Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez today, December 4, Spanish outlet El Faro Ceuta reported.

“Thousands of Moroccan children are born each year in Melilla and get Spanish nationality at the age of 18,” Imbroda told the Spanish media.

“Everyday, pregnant women leave Morocco to go to [Melilla] regional hospital to give birth, taking advantage of the fact that the Spanish health services are obliged to serve them for humanitarian reasons, even if they do not have a social security card,” he added.

Approximately 2,500 Moroccan women give birth each year at Melilla hospitals and 1,300 of them return to Morocco once they give birth.

Once they reach the age of 18, “these children claim their right to Spanish nationality,” said Imbroda. This worries the president of Melilla, who fears the increasing number of Spanish citizens of Moroccan origin who will have the right to participate in elections and its possible political consequences.

Read also: Melilla Border: 12 Soldiers Injured, Morocco to Deport 141 Sub-Saharans

Imbroda will also address other issues regarding immigration and security in his meeting with Sanchez.

He said he will express his concern over the high number of unaccompanied foreign minors in Melilla and will ask Sanchez to reinforce the National Police and the Civil Guard of Melilla to help authorities deal with thousands of migrants in the city.

“We need 200 civil guards and 200 more national police,” stressed Imbroda.

In 2017, the number of unaccompanied foreign minors arriving in Spain rose by over 60 percent, according to the Spanish interior ministry’s figures.

Read also: Over 3,000 Unaccompanied Moroccan Minors Crowding the Gates of Melilla

More than 17,413 unaccompanied foreign minors have arrived in Spain since 2014, including 3,329 minors in Melilla, the ministry added.

Imbroda also indicated that he will need to increase the military forces in Melilla.

“We do not ask for more soldiers because we are going to make a war, but because [Melilla] is a strategically more delicate area,” Imbroda said.