Let us save hospitality

At the end of March, the current Immigration Law will be modified in its article 53, related to the employment of people in irregular situation in Spain. The project plans to "fine with 500 to 10.000 Euros all those who promote the presence of people with irregular and the extension of the authorized period of time".

Although the official excuse is to protect the people without papers from the mafias, this article 35 fully affects the NGOs and the private citizens who are offering their hospitality in several ways. As a consequence the platform "Save Hospitality" has been set up, promoted by different people as a personal initiative and some organizations such as Pueblos Unidos (Jesuit NGO that works with immigrants in Madrid).

We think that this is an initiative worthy of support and we encourage you to join it and pass it on to the people and institutions you consider to be interested.

You can join the manifesto in the two following ways:

  • By filling up the personal data required at the end and send by mail to:
  • Or by printing the document at the end and send it by post to the following address: Pueblos Unidos. C/ Martires de la Ventilla, 78. 28029 Madrid.




"All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood. (art. 1 Universal Declaration of Human Rights).

One of the obligations present in every culture, and in some, the sign of their identity, is the value of hospitality. This ethical obligation is threatened in Spain if the announced reform of the immigration law goes ahead.

There is a tendency to criminalize illegal immigration (that is to consider that the person who wants to survive by moving around the planet is a dangerous outlaw) and in addition a punishment framework wants to be established for all those who in solidarity wish to perform their right to hospitality, considering their altruistic behavior as "promoting illegal stay in Spain". This automatically considers thousands of people who accompany shelter in their homes and support people without papers, as people who break the law. Therefore, NGOs, religious congregations and citizens, who perform their obligation of solidarity with immigrant people in an irregular situation with the administration, would be prosecuted. This reform seeks to be justified by the silence of citizens in face of this procedure against human dignity and fundamental rights.

Art. 53 c) of the project to change the Immigration law, fines with 501 to 30.000 euros "those who promote the irregular presence in Spain of a foreigner. It is considered as promoting irregular presence when the foreigner is paid by the employer who is breaking the law and his authorized stay will go beyond the legal permit.
With the excuse to protect foreigners with no papers from the abuse of the mafias, their vulnerability is increased and they are deprived of social solidarity support. This legal reform has a great ethical-political importance: it creates a rule that makes illegal the principle-value of solidarity so necessary in a State.

The objective of this rule is to intimidate Spanish or foreign legal citizens so they may deny all kind of support to people in irregular situations until they are left with no support at all, no food, clothing, money and this situation will force them to return to their country. They forget that "Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country. (Art. 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights) and that "Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution. (Art. 14 UDHR).

In face of this situation we therefore state:
1.- That we have seen, after so many years accompanying people in extremely vulnerable personal and social situations, the value of solidarity in our homes with those who do not have the minimum to survive: house, bread and a job.

2.- That a significant part of the responsibility of the misery of the origin populations who wish to migrate to Spain is provoked by historical processes and economic and colonial policies of the states of the so called First World that has interests in keeping up non democratic regimes in the Third World(including arms sales and trafficking with people).

3. - That the principle of solidarity with the most deprived of the world is an ethical legitimate element in a democratic society, that considers the goods of the earth have a universal use and that neither property nor borders may have an absolute value in face of the neighbour's misery and his right to survive.

4.-That the Spanish State looses all ethical and legal legitimacy when it passes a law against the essential contents of Human Rights, takes away all material aid from people in irregular situation and tries to intimidate with considerable fines all those who perform hospitality and care for others.

Considering all this, and apart from other disagreements, we propose to the Government as an ethical minimum, to change the project by adding to the text the concept of "profit" in order to be fined.


Julián Carlos Ríos Martín. University Professor. Madrid
José Luis Segovia Bernabé. University Professor. Salamanca
María Dolores Rodríguez Pelaez. Citizen.
Miguel Santiago. Institute Professor. Córdoba
Ramón Saez Valcárcel. Magistrate. Madrid
Daniel Izuzquiza. Jesuit priest. Madrid
Pilar Sánchez Álvarez. Lawyer. Madrid
Enrique Romá Romero. Vet. Alicante
Javier Baeza Atienza. Priest. Madrid
Guillermo Toledo. Actor
Félix Pantoja García. Lawyer
Luis Guitarra. Singer. Madrid
Siro López. Artist. Madrid
Rafael Pascual Díez. Lawyer. Madrid
Manuel Gallego Díaz. University Professor. Madrid