The Fundación Alternativas presented yesterday a report to “dismantle” the “disinformation campaigns and fake news about immigration and refugees”, which “have found the best ally in the populist political parties”.
“Demystify the topics on security and immigration and dismantle the fake news on the damage of immigration to the economy, the Islamization of Europe or the aid that supposedly receive more immigrants than nationals are key to fighting right-wing extremism”, said Leticia Rodriíguez, one of the authors of the report Dismantle the false myth of the migration problem during the presentation of the document at the headquarters of the foundation in Madrid.
The document affirms that, in the midst of the “delicate moment the European Union is going through” due to challenges such as immigration, Brexit or “the detachment of citizenship from the European project”, the European States should have “a true common migratory policy, with the aim of establishing a balanced approach to deal with both legal and irregular migration based on the principle of solidarity”.
In this context, disinformation campaigns and fake news on immigration and refugees have found “the best ally in populist political parties”, which have taken advantage of the situation to launch their anti-immigration messages. “It is worrying that such parties have parliamentary representation and presence in national governments and the European Parliament”, said the other author of the report, Beatriz Cózar.
According to Cózar, “Spain is one of the countries with the lowest crime rate in the EU, despite the fact that the immigrant population has increased between 2000 and 2014 to reach 10% of the population”. “The data from the National Statistics Institute are clear: the incidence of the immigrant prison population is much lower than that of Spain”, she said.
Likewise, despite the “Islamisation of Europe” denounced by far-right groups, including the Spanish Vox, the number of Muslims is “a minority” in Spain and Europe, according to Rodríguez. “I don’t remember hearing Vox talk about Venezuelan or Salvadoran immigration. They focus on those who come from Africa and the Middle East as if they were the great threat”, she added, revealing “that the Islamic background” is the political argument of this formation in their election campaigns.
In any case, according to Rodríguez, it is unlikely that the migration issue will have a significant weight in the November 10 general election campaign, which will be dominated by “national problems, such as Catalonia”. “If we did not have the sentence for the procès, we would surely see more immigration on the part of leaders of certain parties, who would speak of reconquest and Islamisation”, she admitted.
In this regard, the executive vice-president of the Fundación Alternativas, Diego López Garrido, said during the event that the migration issue “is not very profitable for Spanish political parties, except for some extremist parties”.
“Spanish society, in general, admits immigration; 10% of the population is of foreign origin and a large part of the immigrants are from America, with which there are evident linguistic and even religious ties”, he continued. “In other countries immigration has been used as a springboard to capture votes, but in Spain not so much, there is no such rejection”, he concluded.