I’ve posted several times in the last few weeks about the flood of migrants that has assaulted the border defenses of the Spanish enclave of Melilla on the coast of North Africa. Those who have made it over the fence have overwhelmed the government’s asylum reception facilities. Rather than deal with the problem by immediately returning the illegal migrants to Morocco, Spanish immigration authorities have decided to empty the holding centers by implementing an expedited asylum process.
Asylum Express in Melilla: The government has processed more than 800 requests since the massive assault at the fence
The recent violent assaults at the Melilla border fence, which occurred at the beginning of March, not only turned the forces and security agencies of the State (FCSE) on their heads; once on Spanish territory, dozens of agents have had to process the more than 800 asylum requests ordered by the current government.
“They have not even respected the quarantine,” point out the agents to La Gaceta de la Iberosfera. The Temporary Stay Centers (CETI) are overwhelmed: With a capacity of 782 spaces, according to a report on the health situation of the center published in the Official Bulletin of the Autonomous City of Melilla (BOME) on 25 August 2020, the occupancy of the Melilla CETI has passed 900 illegal immigrants. This circumstance has motivated the current government to decide to have the agents carry out an “asylum express”.
The Ministry of the Interior could have opted for the “hot return” endorsed by the Constitutional Tribune, as it already did after the invasion of Ceuta in May of last year, but on this occasion, the government has decided to exchange the so-called “hot returns” for an “asylum express”, a measure that is intended to leave the Melilla CETI free of occupancy.
The majority of the illegal immigrants who assaulted the Spanish border — armed with hooks and clubs — come from Sudan, followed by Malians and those of other origins, such as Burkina Faso, Guinea Conakry, Chad, Ivory Coast, Cameroon, and Libya, according to sources of FCSE. The fact that most of them are of Sudanese origin confirms that a change of the migratory flows has occurred: The immigrants who principally ended up in Libya in order to get to Europe across the central Mediterranean are now opting for the Autonomous City of Melilla, given the laxness of the current government in migration matters.
The inaction of the Interior Ministry is causing the mafias that operate in the entire Maghreb to decide to mobilize more and more immigrants with the aim of establishing Spain as one of the principal avenues of entry into Europe. That is what the latest figures from the High Commissioner of the United Nations show for the refugees (ACNUR, UNHCR) who, at the statistical level, place our country as the objective of more than 50% of all illegal immigration arriving on European territory. More than the 5,889 illegal immigrants who entered Italy and even more than the 1,037 entries recorded in Greece, Spain has received about 56% of all illegal immigrants who arrived in Europe.
Furthermore, the FCSE agents stationed in Melilla also warn that the government’s decision may lead to an effective encouragement, since, far from acting as a wall against illegal immigration, a message is being sent which is being understood by the thousands of sub-Saharans who are waiting on the other side of the border that, once in Spain, they will be accepted instead of being sent back to Morocco. “In less than one month, there will be spaces free, and they will know this on the other side since they are in communication at all times,” police sources conclude.