Länderprofile

Länderprofile



Spain

Traditionally an emigration country, Spain has been transformed within the space of a few decades to become one of the most important immigration countries in Europe. Since the middle of the 1980s Spain's foreign population has risen nineteen-fold to 4.52 million. Legislation has been modified many times in order to keep pace with this ever-changing situation. From the beginning, the focus has been on controlling the flow of immigrants and combating illegal migration, which represents a central problem for Spain. Although questions concerning the social integration of immigrants were not initially addressed, they are increasingly gaining importance. While immigration has become a key political and social issue in public debate, discussion over what it will mean for Spain and the Spanish self-image in the future is only starting to get off the ground. (Version from 8/2008)

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