Staff Reporter THE Secretary General of the USO Workers Union in the Balearics, Rafael Pons, urged the administration yesterday, to enable immigrant workers to take up the jobs that are rejected by unemployed Spaniards. “If we fail to act,” Pons suggested, “society is heading for the first hallmarks of illegality and a black market economy.” Speaking at the presentation of a report on immigrant labour, Pons was referring to the fact that many foreigners who apply for a work permit are rejected because the jobs available on the list could be taken up by the Spanish jobless. Pons expressed opposition to this system, because many of these jobs are never taken up because the Spanish refuse to do them. Pons called on the administration to take a critical look at the figures on national unemployment registers, to examine the incidence of rejection of work on offer. Immigrant workers, he believed, should be able to apply for the positions that Spanish unemployed are continually refusing. Otherwise, said Pons, “we are condemning immigrants to taking up work illegally”, because they will eventually end up “scraping a living on the black market”. Pons refuted claims that the Central Government Representative's office in the Balearics had successfully processed 16'000 work and resident permit applications, the half of the 33'000 pending at the beginning of June this year. He pointed out that only 50 percent of them were fresh applications and the rest were essentially renovations or family group additions. Pons also expressed his opposition to the creation of a special internment centre for immigrants without papers, who have committed a crime. Such a holding camp, he claimed, would suppose prejudged discrimination, and he rejected the so-called “population limits” that some political groups want to establish because these limitations always refer to immigrants, he alleged. Pons refused to acknowledge the categorisation of “regular” and “irregular” immigrants, being quite unequivocal about the fact that, owing to a restrictive quota system, the majority are included in the second category. Instead of dedicating resources to putting an end to immigration, Pons proposed diverting such energies to examining the “root cause” of the problem. He felt the answer lay in alleviating the difference of extremes of poverty and wealth.