Boat migrant influx down 55pct, despite rise in Canaries

Migrants rescued at sea by Spain's 'Salvamento Maritimo' being taken to the Canary Islands. Photo: Carlos Barba/COPE
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The number of arrivals of migrants and asylum seekers arriving to Spanish shores by boat has fallen by 54.7 percent this year, according to the latest figures published by Spain’s Ministry of the Interior.

Not so for the Canary Islands, however, where the arrival of migrants by boat has increased by 57.3 percent as compared to the first 11 months of 2018, while the number of boat migrants arriving to Spain’s North Africa enclave city of Ceuta has risen by 28.6 percent during the same period.

Overall, the number of migrants and asylum seekers arriving by land or by sea to Spain in the first 11 months of 2019 fell by 49.8 percent to 29,775 as compared to the same period last year, when a total of 52,292 migrants arrived between January and December of 2018.

So far this year, 24,031 migrants and asylum seekers have arrived in a total of 1098 boats, compared to 53,004 arriving in nearly 2,000 boats during the same period last year.

► News Sources: EFE via COPE, Europa Press and El Día …

Boat arrivals via the Mediterranean to the Spanish mainland and the Balearic Islands dropped sharply by nearly 60 percent, falling from 50,527 last year to just 20,784 so far this year. The overall decrease was somewhat tempered, however, by the increase of 57.3 percent in arrivals by boat to the Canaries so far this year.

But of the 1,987 migrants making the Atlantic sea crossing to the Canary Islands from western Morocco, more than half of them arrived to the Spanish islands in the last two months alone, with 495 arrivals in October and 517 in November.

The total of nearly 2,000 arrivals of migrants and asylum seekers this year remains far below the record set in 2006, when 31,678 people arrived by boat in a massive influx of migrants to the Canaries.

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