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Judge insists on removal of 150 minors from Tamanaco apartments in Puerto Rico de Gran Canaria

Judge insists on removal of 150 minors from Tamanaco apartments in Puerto Rico de Gran Canaria
A judge has denied any further continuation to migrant minors being allowed to be temporarily accommodated in the Tamanaco Apartment Complex in Puerto Rico de Gran Canaira ordering the removal of migrant minors within the next few days and weeks. The Las Palmas de Gran Canaria court of contention number 2 has reportedly rejected an attempt to suspend the timely eviction of the unaccompanied migrant minors who have been accommodated at the Tamanaco tourist apartment complex in recent months. The magistrate Mr. Ángel Teba García rejected a precautionary measure filed by the SAMU Foundation, the NGO tasked with caring for the children housed there, which opposed a resolution from the Mogán Town Council to evict when the contract was finished. On that basis, the court agreed to lift a suspension order, decreed back on April 15, and ordered the continuation with exiting the contract in a timely manner.

The SAMU Foundation filed a contentious-administrative appeal against the resolution, 1176/2021, issued by the Mogán town Council, dated March 15, which had requested suspension of the eviction and removal of minors, migrant youths, currently accommodated at the apartments in the tourist resort town of Puerto Rico. The plaintiff indicated in the appeal that “the order being challenged, would mean evicting 150 unaccompanied foreign minors, within fifteen days, who have not yet been taken in by the network of residential resources of the Autonomous Community.”

However, according to the Ministry of Social Rights’ own “Report on the situation of the Tamanaco emergency measures aimed at the residential care of unaccompanied foreign minors“, prepared by the Director General for the Protection of Children and Family, the measures were due to be “concluded by April 31, 2021, or at the latest during the first weeks of May.”

** We are awaiting confirmation of the date from the original measures published in November, which were to be concluded by the end of April. Three separate sources have quoted the date April 31, though the month only has 30 days. We assume it to be a typo in the original report

The order continues stating that “from the moment the landlord initiated legal actions, before the Courts of San Bartolomé de Tirajana, to resolve the lease contract”, which was the legal agreement and basis for the occupation of the property, the foundation and the Ministry of Social Rights were bound to have to contemplate the next move for these children. The court’s conclusion must be, they said, to entirely reject the appeal and support the removal of minors, because “the precautionary measure filed by the SAMU Foundation is therefore inappropriate.”  The court pointed out that they had full knowledge that the contract must be concluded by that date, and also mentioned the incongruousness of the opposing positions of the Regional Executive and the Mogán Council in this conflict.

Procedurally, said the judge, the only position that could be allowed, was to verify “the legality of the procedure and of the Resolution subject to appeal”.

Concluding, the judge said that if it were his understanding “that the controversial Resolution is not in accordance with the law, he had to appeal it as Fundación SAMU has done” and clarified that “the Comunidad Autónoma de Islas Canarias” named as co-defendants, “had perfect knowledge of what was coming and did not appeal against the Resolution of the Mogán Town Council” pointing out that they cannot now do so “surreptitiously.”

The order states that “both the SAMU Foundation and the Executive had to have contemplated the instability for the foster care of migrant minors” in the Tamanaco Apartments.

Speaking of the request for precautionary measures, itself, the judge ordered that “being that the suspension of the administrative Acts was an exceptional measure, the presumption of legality of [those acts] should prevail against the particular interest of the SAMU Foundation.”

In essence the judgement lights a fire under the SAMU Foundation and the Canary Islands Regional Government’s Department of Social Rights, Equality, Diversity and Youth, who are responsible for managing the situation with migrant minors who arrive to the Archipelago. The judgement firmly orders the lifting of the eviction suspension for migrants accommodated in the Tamanaco complex, who are expected to have found an alternative within a matter of days, something that may well prove very difficult indeed.

 

**this article was edited to correct what appears to be a typo on the original date for the expected end of contract, April 31, a date that does not exist

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