In Portugal, a new Agency for Minorities, Migration and Asylum will replace the Aliens and Immigration Service (SEF) and the High Commissioner for Migration, the Cabinet decided on Thursday (6 April).
“The Cabinet today approved the creation of the Portuguese Agency for Minorities, Migration and Asylum (APMMA), which will succeed the Department of Aliens and Immigration (SEF) and the High Commissioner for Migration in matters of reception and immigration,” The Minister of the Presidency announced, Thursday, Mariana Vieira da Silva.
during the Cabinet, the latter also approved The decree-law that will regulate the transitional regime for the workers of the enterprise, which, according to Mrs. Vieira da Silva, aims to guarantee the rights of workers, Career shifts and salary rearrangements.
With regard to the new agency, which is expected to have a transitional period of six months, the Deputy Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, Ana Catarina Mendez, explained that its establishment represents a quantum leap in Portugal’s immigration policy.
“Ultimately, on the one hand, it separates this policy from the police – who will have their part – and on the other hand, it defines what the vision of reception and integration policy should be in this new agency,” she added.
This is why APMMA will be part of the High Commissioner for Migration to ensure faster acceptance and better reception of immigrants.
The Agency also has powers in the field of humanitarian protection and responsibilities in asylum policy, in defining and approximating migration policies at the European level. Mendes added, insisting that change means “A more humane vision, more solidarity and more resilience for those who get here.”
“Several SEF offices will continue to be linked to the agency in order to ensure proximity throughout the territory,” she added.
Ms. Mendez also explained that with the incorporation of the High Commissioner for Migration into APMMA, the “Options Programme”, which aims to combat juvenile delinquency and social exclusion of children and young people, will be transferred to the Portuguese Youth Institute.
The previous government decided to restructure the fund and approved it in Parliament in November 2021 after it was postponed twice.
The operation was postponed in November of the same year, until May 2022, due to the pandemic, at the suggestion of PS, and postponed again by the current government until the end of April 2022.