Lisbon City Council demands “a functioning Foreigners and Borders Service”

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The councilor for Housing in the Lisbon City Council, Filipa Roseta (PSD), reiterated today the need to “have a functioning Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF)” to respond to illegal immigration situations in the city.

Lisbon City Council demands "a functioning Foreigners and Borders Service"

“There is a problem with the SEF, it has been extinct for more than two years and it is not working, it has to work”, complained the Housing councilor, in response to questions from municipal deputy Bruno Mascarenhas, from the Chega party, about the “big operation” police in Martim Moniz, which took place on Monday.

At the meeting of the Lisbon Municipal Assembly, Bruno Mascarenhas linked the operation to the “mafias” operating in Martim Moniz, in the context of illegal immigration, and regretted that the council had not commented on the matter.

In response, Councillor Filipa Roseta recalled her previous intervention on the subject, in which she asked: “Where is SEF?”.

The chamber is working with the entities in this area, including SEF, said the mayor, noting that, regarding the operation that took place on Monday, “the Judicial Police worked”, highlighting the work of the Arroios Parish Council that reported situations to the Public Prosecutor’s Office.

“We must have a functioning Foreigners and Borders Service,” she complained, lamenting that there are cases of people paying to be attended by SEF.

On Monday, the Judiciary Police arrested six people in the Lisbon region as part of an operation that dismantled an illegal immigration criminal organization operating in several European countries.

PSD municipal deputy Carlos Reis defended that the design of a safer city requires a shared responsibility by all, in which “the Government exercises more competences”, starting with what has to do with immigration.

“Where is the SEF? We will ask this question again as many times as necessary”, reinforced the Social Democrat, warning the PS bench that “it is not worth burying our heads in the sand”, arguing that it is necessary to work to solve the problem.

Chega MP Bruno Mascarenhas also mentioned that Sheik Munir, imam of the Lisbon mosque, said that there is “a problem with radical Islam”, challenging the independent deputy of Cidadãos Por Lisboa (elected by the PS/Livre coalition) Miguel Graça to report this to the police.

This follows a complaint lodged by Miguel Graça against Bruno Mascarenhas at the Commission for Equality and Against Racial Discrimination (CICDR), in connection with an intervention he considered racist and xenophobic.

In response, Miguel Graça recalled that it was the CICDR that decided to refer his complaint to the Public Prosecutor’s Office (MP), warning MP Bruno Mascarenhas that whenever he makes accusations they will all be referred to the MP: “I advise you to be careful with your words, because you are under scrutiny in this matter”.

In defense of his honor, the deputy of Cidadãos Por Lisboa assured: “I have never made a defense of radicalization, whether religious or otherwise”.

At the origin of the complaint to the CICDR are statements by Bruno Mascarenhas, at a meeting on February 14, in which he welcomed the decision to rethink the construction of a mosque in Martim Moniz: “The council understood that it was really a danger to the city that there is a question of radical Islam there”.

At today’s meeting, PEV deputy Cláudia Madeira questioned the council about the requalification of the Monsanto Panoramic building, which is municipal heritage, to which the councilor for Green Structure, Ângelo Pereira (PSD), said that it is “another heavy legacy that this executive carries”, in which the recovery has “a very high cost”.

Ângelo Pereira said that “the budgets of the past are astronomical”, in the order of 23 million euros, noting that the chamber is making a current assessment of the state of this building to define a solution for its recovery.

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