According to a report by NM, at least two deputies from the Chega party have problems – and accusations – related to illegal immigration, even though the party aims to combat what it says is "uncontrolled immigration" and argues that "you can only stay in Portugal as an immigrant who does not commit crimes, and if he does commit crimes, will be expelled."

Chega deputy José Dias Fernandes, worked and lived as an illegal immigrant in France for several years, after having emigrated there in the 70s. The man, a businessman born in Viana do Castelo, even confessed to having been expelled "twice", in an interview with LusoJornal.

"I was expelled twice. It's true. […] I tried Andorra and went back to France and was expelled again. I came back in 1978, again," he said.

It was only during the presidency of François Mitterrand, of the Socialist Party, that the now elected deputy managed to "do the papers" and obtain a residence permit. But, if the measures advocated by the collective he is part of had been applied in France, he could not have returned.

However, José Dias Fernandes is not the only case in the party. Marcus Santos, the fifth elected member in the Porto constituency, was arrested twice on charges of fraudulent immigration in the US state of Florida, according to criminal records published on the platform.

Born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the 44-year-old man was arrested at the age of 25, both in December 2004 and February 2005. It is unknown, however, whether he was convicted or expelled from the country.

Given the 'buzz' on social media, the former athlete said he had "no problem with the North American justice system or any other country", ignoring the existence of arrest records.

"Every year I go to the United States, where I am received by all my students with great admiration and affection. God bless America. Long live Portugal," he wrote.

The Chega manifesto wants to force immigrants in the country to make five years of contributions before having access to social support, citizens who, in 2022, were responsible for a profit of more than 1,600 million euros in Social Security. It also intends that immigrants who make asylum requests "remain in temporary support centers" until they obtain validation, as well as the "repatriation of those who violate Portuguese criminal law".

Chega, which proposes annual quotas for the entry of foreigners into Portugal based "on the qualifications of immigrants and the needs of the Portuguese economy", also wants a "diagnosis of the sectors most in need of labour in Portugal, as well as the analysis of the risks of non-integrated immigration".