Knocking at the Door

Thursday, January 25, 2018
By Martin Myall

MOT illegal immigrants OnLHere are the 2017 figures for the arrival of illegal immigrants along our coast. Even as January 2018 closes, the figure continues to rise.

According to Cruz Roja (Spanish Red Cross), 3,838 immigrants were landed on the docks of Motril Port after being intercepted out in the Med. In case you’re wondering, that’s double the number for 2016.

And of course, there are also the ones that disappeared and occupy watery graves, as well as the boats that actually reached the coast without interception, neither of which are included in this figure.

Of the nearly 4,000 that were processed through the port, 300 of them were minors and in terms of boats, 105 were intercepted and towed in by Salvamento Marítimo.

The majority of these tragic travellers come from south of the Sahara Dessert from Guinea Conakry, Ghana and the Ivory Coast, for example. Morocco shed 400 citizens, albeit provisionally because many will be sent back.

And who’s at the Motril end to receive them when they arrive, simultaneously disappointed and relieved to be taken aboard a seaworthy, Spanish Coast Guard vessel? Besides the Guardia Civil, the answer is 60 volunteers, working in teams of up to 15, depending on how many ‘passengers’ the Salvamento Martímo vessels bring in.

The Red Cross volunteers are there to give them a humane reception, (as do the Guardia Civil) handing out blankets, dry clothes, something to eat and a smile, because some of these hopefuls have covered a thousand miles before they reach a beach from which to begin their treacherous sea crossing – probably the first smile they’re liable to receive on Spanish soil.

Undoubtedly, there has to be a door, which can’t be simply left open, yet… what do you do with all the people standing outside in the rain?

(News: Motril, Costa Tropical, Granada, Andalucia)

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