Number of irregular immigrants reaching Spain more than double
05 Dec 2018, 01:46 ( 8 days ago)
The number of irregular immigrants traveling to Spain continues to rise, with 59,048 reaching the country in the southwest of Europe during the first 11 months of the year, according to data published by the Spanish Interior Ministry on Tuesday.
The ministry said this is an increase of 129 percent on the 25,786 migrants who came to Spain in the first 11 months of 2017.
52,795 of the migrants came to Spain by making the dangerous sea crossing of the Mediterranean Sea, which separates Spain from the coast of Morocco just 14 kilometers away at the narrowest point.
November saw 11,543 arrivals. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) said that at least 114 people lost their lives attempting the crossing in what was the most fatal month of 2018 for migrants attempting to reach Spain.
According to the IOM, 90 people died attempting to reach Spain in October, 99 in September and 68 in August.
As well as the 52,795 people who reached Spain by the maritime route, a further 6,253 reached Spanish territory by crossing into the Spain's two north African enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla, either by being smuggled through frontier posts or scaling the double 6 meter high razor wire which makes up the border fence.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) estimates that 21.4 percent of all irregular migrants to Spain come from Morocco, 20.9 percent from Equatorial Guinea and 15.9 percent from Mali.