In all developed states, the existence of a significant number of foreigners with illegal status poses considerable problems in multiple fields including; legal, sociological, cultural and ethical. Among these problems the least important is certainly not the status of fundamental rights of foreigners that each state recognizes.
Human rights were traditionally designed, even since the famous French revolutionary Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, so that nationality signifies all rights including immigration rights partial or incomplete so that it is possible and sometimes even constitutionally bound the difference between nationals or foreigners. Even though one can observe a clear universal trend, it is still necessary to refer to a dual classification of fundamental rights.
In the first place the rights and regulations that correspond to all must be carried out without discrimination for any reason. They are rights that are closely related to the human dignity; like the right to life, to not suffer from inhuman and degrading treatment and religious freedom. However, as specified by treaties and laws, these rights may or may not pertain to foreigners, thus, making the difference in treatment admissible. These rights include benefits and services such as education, health, and transcendental law for foreigners and freedom of movement and residency, which only correspond to nationals and foreigners with legal status.
The regulation in this area is a moral and democratic test for the United States. The comparison between the rights for foreigners with illegal status in the Spanish regulatory system and the United States that can result in a mutual interest of merging similarities and differences, which both must take the following into consideration:
Both are developed countries with borders and share the qualitative phenomenon of illegal immigration. However, the United States is a society based on immigration and Spain has only recently been the producer of emigration.
Both are structurally decentralized, resulting in States or Autonomous Communities. They both may have to a certain degree their own politics as witnessed Arizona’s controversial Senate Bill 1070. Moreover, in Spain, immigration is undergoing an intense process of community regulation.
Lastly, there also exist important similarities and differences when analyzing limits derived from international law. Both have signed the universal instruments for human rights, but Spain submitted its regulations to the control of the European Convention on Human Rights, before the United States for not ratifying it’s equivalent, the Pact of San José.
The project presented intends to analyze all the these issues in the coming years through studies, conferences, visits to the Universidad de Alcalá from American professors as well as visits to American universities from Spanish professors, and the publication of the final work in both the Spanish and English language.