The small Spanish enclave of Melilla is the latest European border facing immigration problems. According to The Local, ten African immigrants managed to scale the twenty three foot fence which separates the region from the rest of the African continent. Reports says the incident occurred in broad daylight.
The previous day, 500 would be migrants tried to storm the barrier in scenes which are being played out at border points across the EU.
A spokeswoman for Melilla’s prefect, said: “Around 16 migrants tried to get over the fence in the northern zone and 10 succeeded.” She added that once they had crossed the border they were taken to an immigration centre.
European rules on asylum seekers and migrants say they must be assessed in the first country they arrive in. This puts pressure on these border countries, usually Italy, Malta and Greece, who know that they are not the desired country of destination but merely a gateway to other countries.
Consequently, there is little incentive for them to burden the costs of processing and looking after any immigrants and usually they are processed and allowed to travel on across the continent. Their preferred destination countries are usually the UK, based on the generous social security and the language, or Scandinavian countries.
Officials say there have been more than 60 attempts on the huge fence, most of which occur at nighttime. The city and its surrounding areas have mooted the idea of increased security at the border, with detection wires, tear gas dispensers, radar, and day and night vision cameras.
On Thursday, there was an organised attempt by 500 or so migrants, who had gathered in small groups and tried to approach the heavily guarded frontier. They were pushed back by Moroccan police.
They are one of an estimated 15,000 who try to get into Melilla since the beginning of 2014, with 2000 succeeding, according to official reports.
In February 2014, over 200 migrants from sub-Saharan Africa scaled a security fence to get into the already overcrowded Melilla migrant reception centre. It was only built for 480 individuals but reports say it houses in excess of a thousand.
Meanwhile, the Mail reports that up to 200 men from Bulgaria and Romania are gathering each day in a North West London suburb looking for cash-in-hand jobs.
Word has spread among the local community that appropriately named restaurant and bar ‘The Honeypot’ is the place to find work avoiding the tax man.
According to the report, dozens of migrants are picked up throughout the day by workmen in white vans.
Last week, Britain was dubbed a ‘Honeypot Nation’ by Tory MP Bernard Jenkins.
“One of the things keeping low pay suppressed is the endless supply of cheap labour coming in from the EU8, the Eastern European countries, the recent entrants to the European Union” he said on Tuesday.
“And most people come to this country unaccompanied… but they’re able to claim benefits to support their families back home.”
One local resident said the community was “furious” the area has become a make shift illegal job centre.
“It’s scary because they’re watching my house. At 7.15am there are a couple on the wall, two or three behind the bush and more near the B&Q, and ten or 15 of them down the end of the road. It’s very daunting.”