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Immigrant Uprising: AIMA (former SEF) Under Fire as Challenges Escalate in Portugal

On March 4th, immigrants gathered for a demonstration outside the Portimão offices of the Immigration and Borders Service (SEF), aiming to express their frustration and sense of helplessness experienced by those residing and laboring in Portugal without a residence card.

The protest that commenced at 11 am on Avenue Doutor Francisco Sá Carneiro, right in front of SEF's Portimão building, underscored a fundamental violation of migrant rights.

With more than 100 emigrants actively participating, the demonstration aimed to shed light on the inefficiencies plaguing the SEF system, not only in recent months but also for several years. What became apparent during the protest was a profound disregard for the basic human rights of migrants.

At the heart of the protest was the dire predicament faced by immigrants unable to obtain a residence card. This seemingly bureaucratic issue transcended administrative matters, instead constituting a grave violation of fundamental human rights. Among the pressing concerns voiced by protesters was the profound inability of migrants to exercise their right to return to their home countries.

The lack of a resident card not only restricts immigrants' ability to access essential services and participate fully in society but also impedes their freedom of movement. It deprives them of the fundamental right to return to their place of origin, thereby severing familial and cultural ties vital to their well-being and identity.

In essence, the plight of immigrants in Portugal serves as a stark reminder of the urgent need to uphold and protect the basic human rights of all individuals, regardless of their immigration status.

The inability of immigrants to secure a residence card not only perpetuates their marginalization but also undermines the very principles of dignity, equality, and freedom upon which human rights are founded. As such, immediate action must be taken to address the systemic deficiencies within the SEF system and safeguard the inherent rights of migrants.

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