Expulsion as sole Breadwinners for Minor Europeans

The ECJ decided on September 13, 2016 in the matter of Alfredo Rendón Marín (re C-165/14) on the interpretation of art. 20Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union if a father, a third country citizen, of minor European citizens having been previously sentenced, can be denied residence in Europe.

Alfredo is Columbian citizen and has two children – a daughter with Polish and a son with Spanish citizenship. Alfredo had been sentenced to nine months in prison, but execution was suspended for two years. The Spanish government refused to accept Alredo's residency because of his criminal records. Immigration considered him a threat for public security. He contested this situation in court and the Spanish courts requested help from ECJ to interpret art. 20 AEUV with binding authority.

ECJ held that the effect of an expulsion of a thirdland relative of European minors should be limited according to the principle of reasonability. The concerned person’s level of the integration, the duration of residence at the accommodating member state, the age, the state of health, the family and economic situation and the social ties to the origin country should be considered.

The concerns all boil to the question whether national rules may hinder a punished non-European family member to live in Europe when he is the only person who finances the life of minor Europeans.

The court held that protection against expulsion increases the more the Europeans are integrated into their guest country. Expulsion is hardly possible if the European citizen has been born and lived in his host country. Only extraordinary circumstances and of compelling reasons may justify an expulsion under such circumstances. Pursuant to the United Nations Treaty of November 20, 1989 on the rights of children, such compelling reasons also have to be applied to measures of expulsion against children and so protect family covenants. Incidents not based on the individual circumstances and only general prevention are not permissible. A danger from exactly this non-European citizen has to exist. ECJ found that the minors have very strong ties to Spain which generally hinder their non-European father from expulsion.