SEF inspectors ask the Government for meetings on "indefinition of the extinction process"

The restructuring of the SEF was decided by the previous Government and approved by the Assembly of the Republic in November 2021, having already been postponed twice

The union that represents the SEF inspectors today asked the Government for meetings due to the "indefinition of the extinction process" of that security service, which is "harming the security and economic and social development of the country".

The SEF Investigation and Supervision Career Union (SCIF/SEF) is also concerned about the World Youth Day, which takes place in August in Lisbon and should welcome around 1,5 million people who will cross Portuguese borders, and with the possibility of the arrival of more immigrants to the country.

To ensure "border security at times close to large flows of entry into the country", the union representing the inspectors of the Foreigners and Borders Service asked urgent meetings of the Ministers of Internal Administration José Luís Careiro and Deputy and of Parliamentary Affairs Ana Catarina Mendes, revealed to Lusa the president of SCIF/SEF.

Acácio Pereira maintained that these meetings also have the objective of "intend to guarantee that, despite the delays in the process of extinguishing the SEF and the transfer of its inspectors to the Judiciary Police, their rights and interests will be safeguarded in the restructuring process".

As part of the SEF restructuring process, which was postponed until the creation of the Portuguese Agency for Migration and Asylum (APMA), which will take over SEF's administrative functions, the inspectors of this security service will be transferred to the PJ.

«The World Youth Day demands increased care for security at the borders, at the same time that the country needs immigrants to grow economically. We are concerned about the uncertainty surrounding the process of extinguishing the SEF at such an important moment for the country», said Acácio Pereira.

The trade unionist stressed that «the entire restructuring of the SEF is dependent on the Deputy Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, who was left with the responsibility of defining the APMA statute, but this did not happen and, given this scenario, there is a SEF on the verge of extinction, without any investment, without an entity to which it can transfer part of its competences, in an impasse that harms the security and economic and social development of the country».

The union explains that the extinction of the SEF created the need to distribute competences and human resources by the GNR, PSP, PJ, Instituto dos Registos e do Notariado (IRN) and APMA, having already signed the protocols that establish the cooperation model between the security forces and services during the transition process.

«However, the delay in the creation of APMA by Minister Ana Catarina Mendes is conditioning the entire process of transferring powers and new distribution of functions, which has already been postponed twice, with the Minister of Internal Administration announcing a new deadline the 31st of March», said the official.

For Acácio Pereira, «the postponement of the creation of the APMA is putting the Portuguese borders and the country's immigration policy in the worst of all worlds, since there is no investment in what is, nor progress in what will remain».

The union president also underlined that, in the current conditions in which the SEF finds itself, «the country does not have the adequate structures to attract this immigration, to protect it from the action of transnational human trafficking networks, nor to properly manage the flows of its entry across the country's borders'.

On the other hand, he maintained, «initiatives such as the World Youth Day do not allow constant postponements of a restructuring that is so important for the security of Portugal».

As part of the restructuring of the SEF, police competences will pass to the PSP, GNR and PJ, while the current attributions in administrative matters regarding foreign citizens will be exercised by the APMA and the IRN.

The restructuring of the SEF was decided by the previous Government and approved by the Assembly of the Republic in November 2021, having already been postponed twice.