There are some 70'000 immigrants working in the Balearics, but because their applications for work permits and residency are being processed so slowly, around half are actually working in the region illegally. The USO union said that the slow rate at which the system is working is only serving to encourage and fuel the employment black market. USO Balearic secretary general, Rafael Pons, and the union's immigration officer, Ernesto Baletto, explained yesterday there are some 35'000 immigrants of working age, but because their paperwork is taking so long to come through, they are having to accept work on the black market “otherwise how are they expected to make a living? The process system has got to be speeded up.” While the Balearic government's integration, education, health and housing plan for immigrants has been welcomed, the union said it is going to be a complete waste of time if half of the immigrants in the Balearics, for no fault of their own but the State, are in an illegal situation. Apart from that, there are people currently waiting for their renewed residency permits which were submitted over a year ago,” Pons said.

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