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Posted by portugalpress on May 14, 2018

Hundreds if not thousands of illegal immigrants are expected in Lisbon today to show their frustration with a country that takes their social security contributions but refuses to give them any kind of official permission to stay.

As a result, up to 30,000 foreign workers - almost all of them pushed by dint of their situation into low-paid ‘akin-to-slavery’ type jobs - now risk expulsion.

Say critics, it is just another example of the hypocrisy of European immigration policies.

Up to 20 organisations are supporting today’s protest, and the cause is being taken up by the government’s left wing allies, Bloco de Esquerda and PCP communists, without whom prime minister António Costa has recently admitted the government could not win next year’s legislative elections.

Problems have been exacerbated by a demand introduced in 2016 for immigrants to produce “legal proof of entry into Portugal”.

As entities like Solidariedade Imigrante explain, many immigrants have been here for years, but cannot provide “legal proof of entry”.

The failing sees more and more of these workers pushed ‘underground’ into the black economy where they are hideously exploited, living in sub-human conditions (click here).

Many have had their passports robbed, or taken by trafficking rings, and live in terror of authorities which should be operating in their favour, stresses SI’s Timóteo Macedo.

Thus the call went out to all corners of the country for immigrants to highlight this emergency before families are ripped apart.

SI adds that a number of those facing expulsion have children born in Portugal that are consequently Portuguese citizens.