A FORUM that will debate immigrant support and integration in the community was launched by the Gulbenkian Calouste Foundation in Faro last week.
The forum aims to facilitate discussions regarding the development of good practices for immigration support and will liaise with numerous organisations to improve the level of immigrant integration in Portuguese society.
The forum will strive for a better understanding of migratory patterns and influx into the country. Similarly, the EU has drawn up a set of basic principles, which will be used as a guide for the integration of immigrants living and arriving in Portugal.
Support in Oeiras
This was also targeted in Oeiras near Lisbon last week, where the president of the câmara, Isaltino Morais, signed an accord with the Alto Commissario para a Immigração e Minorias Étnicas, the immigration and ethnic minority high commissioner, Rui Marques, to open three centres in the area, which will offer support to immigrants and ethnic minorities.
The centres, which have since been opened, will inform the community and immigrants of their economic, social, cultural and civil responsibilities. In doing this, Morais said he hoped to promote solidarity and support between residents in the area, as well as quell prejudice. He also believes this will take a step towards equal opportunities in employment.
One aspect which could hinder the efforts of these incentives is illegal immigration. The Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras, the organisation responsible for the borders and immigration announced last Thursday, (November 16), that eight people of various nationalities were arrested in the Algarve and Alentejo areas, suspected of falsifying documents in order to facilitate illegal immigration.
Around 68 officers from the organisation raided 14 homes, two companies and 10 vehicles, seizing a firearm, material for falsifying documents, photocopies of passports and work permits.