Finally, in 1609, Philip III decreed the expulsion of all Moriscos. The main argument for this was the possible support of the Moriscos for a supposed Turkish invasion of Spain. This decision especially affected the Crown of Aragon and, particularly, the former Kingdom of Valencia, where Moriscos formed one third of the total population.
Although there had been rumours of expulsion for a long time, the news still took most Moriscos by surprise. They had to sell their possessions hurriedly and lots of them were robbed and killed during the journey.
The situation of Moorish children was also tragic. A lot of them were separated from their parents and the King established that fathers or mothers who refused to leave their sons and daughters should be executed. As a consequence of these measures, thousands of children were virtually kidnapped under the protection of the law.