Immigrant hunt in Murcia sparks fear of hard-line stance

Police launched a crackdown on illegal immigration in the small Murcian town of Torre Pacheco last week. Sixty officers in the police’s immigration unit blocked the town’s main thoroughfare for hours, in search of undocumented foreign nationals. 58 were detained, and served with expulsion orders. The president of the Association of Moroccan Workers in Spain, Kamal Rahmouni, described the operation as an immigrant hunt. [the police] took anybody who looked Moroccan, or was black or Ecuadorian from the bars, the long-distance telephone centers and even from the mosque, he said. The government denied that police entered the mosque.

Veiled Muslim women workers approved to work for company in Murcia

Agrolimentaria, an agricultural company with about 300 employees in the Murcian neighborhood of Torre Pacheco, must be allowed to employ veiled Muslim women as part of their workforce. The company has about 300 employees involved in the packaging of vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, and lettuce – half of these employees are Arab women. The company will allow women to use their own veils, but may also supply their own during working hours. Many companies like Agrolimentaria condemn the veiling of Muslim women, citing reasons related to hygiene.