Portugal allows Moroccan workers entry, hopes to stop human traffickers

Portugal and Morocco sign an agreement to create legal guidelines for Moroccans to live and work in EU countries

LISBON, Portugal — Portugal and Morocco signed an agreement on Wednesday that sets out legal guidelines for Moroccans to live and work in the European Union country, as part of their efforts to combat illegal immigration and human trafficking.

The deal comes after fears that undocumented migrants seeking to enter the European Union are increasingly targeting Portugal as boats carrying African migrants from Morocco arrive on Portugal’s southern coast in recent years.

Authorities fear smugglers are testing Portugal’s border controls amid a European crackdown on migrants in the Mediterranean and a high death rate on the sea route between Africa and Spain’s Canary Islands.

Portugal’s lack of workers, especially in construction and agriculture, and its low birth rate threaten the sustainability of its social security system, especially pensions.


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