I've read that

Videos and pictures of Spanish police forces getting people down from the top of the [Melilla] fence by all means possible, including violent use of force, began to flood the news. News outlets and videos showed what local NGOs and all kind of organisations had tried to make public for years. The Spanish Government reacted by amending the Aliens Law (Ley Orgánica 4/2000) through a controversial new provision added to the Citizens Security Law (Ley Orgánica 4/2015). [...]

Against the concerns of several international organisations, such as the Council of Europe or UNCHR, and NGOs, such as Amnesty International, the Spanish Government converted push-backs into lawful “rejections at the border” by virtue of a law amendment. [...]

The Spanish Constitutional Court will rule on the Citizens Security Law, including the “rejections at the border” provision, in the near future. The decision was awaiting Strasbourg judgement.

It's not too clear what the latter is, but probably it is referring to the N.D. & N.T. vs Spain case, which actually came on the side of Spain (not illegal to push back migrants trying to force a border crossing en masse, if there's [even a remotely plausible] legal process to cross the border.)

But what exactly does the “rejections at the border” provision in the Spanish law say (in translation)?

1 Answer 1


The "rejections at the border" provision refers to the "Disposición final primera. Régimen especial de Ceuta y Melilla." (First final provision: Special regime of Ceuta and Melilla.) provision added to the Citizens Security Law (Ley Orgánica 4/2015), which amends the Aliens Law (Ley Orgánica 4/2000).

This provision has two sections. The first section adds the controversial new provision, "Disposición adicional décima. Régimen especial de Ceuta y Melilla." (Tenth additional provision. Special regime of Ceuta and Melilla.), while the second section just fixes a bit of legal wording at the end of the law to add a reference to the new provision.

The new provision that would be added is as follows:

Disposición adicional décima. Régimen especial de Ceuta y Melilla.

  1. Los extranjeros que sean detectados en la línea fronteriza de la demarcación territorial de Ceuta o Melilla mientras intentan superar los elementos de contención fronterizos para cruzar irregularmente la frontera podrán ser rechazados a fin de impedir su entrada ilegal en España.

  2. En todo caso, el rechazo se realizará respetando la normativa internacional de derechos humanos y de protección internacional de la que España es parte.

  3. Las solicitudes de protección internacional se formalizarán en los lugares habilitados al efecto en los pasos fronterizos y se tramitarán conforme a lo establecido en la normativa en materia de protección internacional.

My translation:

Tenth additional provision. Special regime of Ceuta and Melilla.

  1. Foreigners detected on the border of Ceuta or Melilla while trying to overcome security measures in order to illegally cross may be rejected in order to prevent their illegal entry into Spain.

  2. All rejections will be made in compliance with international human rights & protection regulations to which Spain is a party.

  3. Applications for international protection (asylum) shall only be made in sites designated for this purpose at border crossings and shall be processed according to to the provisions of international protection regulations.

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