Three Ukrainians arrested in Palma on January 24 are the first to be expelled from the country under the tough new immigration laws. They were named as Ruster D., Noma A and Inoc M., and they were arrested by the Guardia Civil on their arrival from Valencia. All three lacked the necessary documents to remain in Spain and blank-firing pistols were found in their possession. They were handed over to the foreign brigade of the National Police, who started urgent expulsion procedures, and six days later they were returned to their home land by air. Sources said that this type of procedure is possible when the illegal immigrant commits an irregularity, which would not involve a jail sentence of more than six years. The same procedure is currently being applied to three other foreigners, although the process may not be as rapid, as a court ruling has yet to be made. They have been named as Russians Mikhail K, and Svetlana K, and Urkainian Dubas V. All three were arrested by the Guardia Civil on charges related to prostitution. Also under investigation is J D C of Romania, arrested by police in Manacor on several occasions, on charges of theft. Since the amendments to the new immigration law came into force, one of the articles, rejection at the frontier, has been applied for the first time in the Balearics. This was the case of three stowaways from the Ivory Coast, who arrived on board a cargo boat on January 22. They were escorted ashore under arrest and hours later returned to their home country by air. In Madrid, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, secretary general of the PSOE (Spanish Socialist Workers Party) said that his party would not appeal against the law to the Constitutional Court. This would not help, he said, because a decision would not be made for six or seven years, when interest in debate is to solve the problem here and now. However, he added that the regional governments of the Balearics, Aragon and Castilla-La Mancha may decide to appeal. The socialist leader said that there should be “a great State agreement” on immigration policy, a political, economic and social pact involving regional governments and town councils, and added that no law could distance itself from social reality.

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