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They denounce “chaos” and arbitrariness in the reception of irregular migrants in Spain

Ⓒ AFP – Jorge Guerrero – | A group of migrants rescued at sea arrive at the port of the Spanish city of Malaga on January 13, 2018

Spain is managing illegal immigration in its coasts with a policy based on “improvisation” and arbitrariness, denounced on Tuesday in a harsh report an NGO for the defense of migrants, the Spanish Commission for Refugee Aid (CEAR).

The organization published its report – “The invisible walls behind the southern border” – after a 2017 in which Spain was consolidated as the third gateway by sea of ​​irregular migrants in Europe, behind Italy and Greece.

Nearly 22,000 people, almost all of them aided by rescue services, arrived on the southern coasts of the country and the archipelago of the Canaries, almost triple the previous year.

More than 220 died or disappeared in the attempt, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

The report details a series of concrete examples that point to a situation of “chaos and lack of a joint action plan” in the reception of migrants, Paloma Favieres, policy director of the NGO, told a press conference.

CEAR denounces that in the ports of Almería, Motril and Algeciras, “in many occasions the lawyers’ right to interview” with migrants is not guaranteed before they report to the police and are either quickly returned or temporarily detained. in a Foreigners Internment Center (CIE), before being expelled to their country of origin.

Even in Tarifa, 14 kilometers from the Moroccan coast, “there have been cases in which the National Police has drawn up return orders before taking a statement from the person concerned.”

And, above all, assures CEAR, that with the exception of the port of Malaga “is not provided to new arrivals adequate information on the right of asylum.”

“The National Police is not authorizing the delivery of information leaflets (to migrants) on their access to international protection,” and that is a document provided by UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, denounced Estrella Galán, secretary of CEAR.

“There is no unified protocol once the costs are reached, improvisation has been imposed in the Spanish state,” the official explained.

The report adds, on the other hand, that “serious deficiencies” have been observed in the identification of women who could be victims of trafficking in human beings, or of unaccompanied minors.

And fustiga, like other associations, the conditions of unhealthiness of some of the detention centers.

Contacted by the AFP, the Spanish Ministry of the Interior did not react to these criticisms at the moment.

In 2017, 56% of the irregular immigrants who arrived by sea to Spain were sub-Saharan (Senegal, Guinea, Cote d’Ivoire, etc.), according to CEAR.

On the other hand, there was an increase of Moroccans and especially of Algerians, the latter 20% of the total.

8% of immigrants arriving in Spain are women.

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