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Illegal immigration in Spain up 70 per cent in 2014

Friday, 17 April 2015

The number of migrants caught trying to enter Spain illegally rose by almost 70 per cent in 2014 compared to the previous year.

According to figures announced by the Spanish interior ministry this week in response to a written parliamentary question, the number of people detained while attempting to enter the country illegally in 2014 was 12,549, a large increase on the 2013 figure of 7,472.

The figure has gone up after thousands made bids to enter European territory via the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla on the north African coast.

While the battles between sub-Saharan immigrants attempting to scale the six-metre fences around Ceuta and Melilla and Spanish border police continue on an almost daily basis, the number of immigrants entering the enclaves with false documents was higher last year.

Of the 5,819 migrants stopped in Melilla, 2,861 had entered with forged ID papers, while just over 2,000 made the jump.

Syrians formed the largest national group with over 3,000 reaching Spain after fleeing their war-torn country.

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NGOs have campaigned against what they say is a policy of illegal expulsion of migrants in Spain’s enclaves in which civil guard officers push people back through gates to the Moroccan side of the fence without due process or an opportunity for the migrants to request asylum.

Spain has just passed a law which allows for “rejection at the border”, criticised by Gauri van Gulik, Amnesty International’s deputy director for Europe, as “trampling over the rights of vulnerable people and Spain’s own international obligations”.

The Council of Europe has also told Spain its new rules are unlawful. In February 2014, 14 African migrants drowned when trying to swim their way from Morocco into Ceuta.

Civil guards were filmed firing rubber bullets and smoke canisters towards the large group of migrants as they swam past a jetty.

Those that made it past were deported through a border gate.

Source: The Telegraph

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