Spain Deploys Police to West Africa as Canary Islands Migrant Influx Increases by 1,000 Per Cent

Canary
DESIREE MARTIN/AFP via Getty Images

Spain will send law enforcement personnel into Senegal, Africa, to tackle people-smugglers after illegal migration from West Africa to the Canary Islands increased by 1,000 per cent on 2019.

Around 17,000 migrants have made landfall on the Spanish islands, a popular destination for holidaymakers and retirees from Britain, Germany, and other more northerly European countries, so far in 2020 — a stunning increase on the numbers for the previous year.

Well over 2,000 migrants surged into the archipelago over a single weekend earlier in Novemeber.

This illegal migration route into Europe first became popular in the 1990s, with numbers rising exponentially in the mid-2000s — but deals with Senegal and Mauritania to deploy Spanish border control personnel and technology directly to the African countries, along with various inducements, were previously regarded as a model of crisis containment, with arrivals falling from 12,478 in 2007, to 196 in 2010.

That has all changed under the current Socialist government, however, with the Canaries rapidly becoming one of the main points of entry for illegal migrants to Europe.

Defense Minister Margarita Robles confessed earlier in November that there is now a “humanitarian crisis” in the Canary Islands.

Local politician Ana Oramas offered an even grimmer prognosis, describing the islands as “a powder keg” and “a volcano waiting to explode”.

Foreign Minister Arancha Gonzalez Laya pledged Spain would increase the  “presence of men and women from the Guardia Civil, the national police, fighting to dismantle criminal networks of human trafficking in [Senegal]” — but also suggested Spain would increase access to social security for Senegalese nationals in Spain legally, as if that would discourage illegal entry, somehow.

The Socialist government’s Minister for Social Security, Inclusion, and Migration, José Luis Escriva suggested at he beggining of the year that Spain needs “eight or nine million people just to keep our working population at the same level”.

“The demographic trajectories are there. It will happen, we will not escape it,” he insisted.

The Spanish cities of Ceuta and Melilla, exclaves on the North African coast, have also come under increasing pressure from illegal migrants forcing or attempt to force their border fences, often violently, from neighbouring Morocco.

Some have also crossed from Morocco directly to the Spanish mainland, disgorging into the middle of packed beaches and scattering into the country’s interior.

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