AT nine yesterday morning there were around 1'100 immigrants standing outside the Palma Police headquarters, queuing to make an appointment so that they can apply for the residents card. In fact some residents living near to the Police station noticed the start of the avalanche the night before, when around 30 or so immigrants were waiting for the station to open. For an immigrant living on the islands, the residents card is equivalent to a Spanish passport.
The huge queue started from the Paseo Mallorca and was hundreds and hundreds of metres long. It has been calculated that around 1'300 immigrants passed through the police station doors during the morning. By midday the queue had disappeared. The huge number of immigrants asking for a residents card is due to the latest regulation process that was carried out from 7 March until 7 May. The process has given nearly 20'000 immigrants the legal right to live and work here. Thursday is the day for foreigners to obtain their appointment and “yesterday was the first avalanche (as the Thursday before there were between 400 and 500 people), and we hope that this rhythm continues during the next two months until all have been seen”, said Alfonso Jiménez, commissioner for Foreign Affairs. However, the commissioner said that “there were no incidents during the whole morning, because we were prepared”.