Moroccan Government Blames Pro-Open Borders NGOs for ‘Encouraging’ Illegal Migration

spain migrants

Moroccan director of immigration and border surveillance at the Ministry of the Interior Khalid Zerouali has slammed pro-migration ‘rescue’ NGOs, saying they encourage illegal migration to Europe.

Mr Zerouali blamed an increase in the number of illegal migrants attempting to reach Europe from Morocco on the “fleet of NGOs active in the Mediterranean area that encourages and guides migrants”, Moroccan magazine Telquel reports.

According to Zerouali, the Moroccan government has become “overwhelmed” by the surge in illegal migrants travelling through the country to reach Europe, and has called on European Union member-states to become more involved in helping secure the border, noting that his government has already spent 200 million euros deploying 13,000 officials to the maritime border.

“We have so far assumed our responsibilities unilaterally, but we are beginning to be overwhelmed,” he said.

Migrant smuggling gangs have also been on the rise in the country according to Zerouali, with Moroccan authorities dismantling 60 separate networks between August and Septemeber alone.

The Moroccan official claimed that NGOs have spread rumours to migrants that crossings into Europe are free, but noted: “trafficking in human beings is not a charitable act and has a lucrative purpose, because any crossing is supported by a network of traffickers.”

While migrant crossings into Italy have gone down significantly since Italian interior minister Matteo Salvini shut Italian ports to NGO migrant ferries, Socialist-led Spain has seen a rapid increase in the number of arrivals.

In some cases, hundreds of migrants have been collected from the Mediterranean by the country’s maritime rescue service.

The European Union border agency Frontex has reported that the number of migrants coming to Spain has doubled in the past year, noting “some 29,600 irregular border crossings on the western Mediterranean route, more than double the figure from a year ago.”

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)



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