Sunday, May 14, 2006

456 Migrants Intercepted off Spanish Islands

Spanish police and rescue vessels Saturday intercepted six boats carrying 456 illegal migrants off the coast of the Canary Island of Tenerife.

Saturday's figures elevate the total number of illegal immigrant arrivals to the Canary Islands this year to 5,984, the Interior Ministry said.

Thousands of people try to reach Europe through Spain each year, an increasing number of them setting off from Mauritania and Southern Morocco.

For decades, boats carrying immigrants have set out from Morocco, sailing north across the Strait of Gibraltar to the Spanish mainland or westward to the Canary Islands.

Last year authorities caught 4,751 African migrants trying to reach the Canary Islands, while at least 1,000 more are believed to have died during the crossing.

Those who are caught are kept in holding centers. Authorities have 40 days to repatriate or release them. The immigrants are either sent back to their country of origin or to the country from which they set sail, if Spain has a repatriation accord with it.


Anonymous Federico said...



11:05 PM, May 14, 2006  

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