ANOTHER flight has left the Canary Islands carrying some 60 illegal immigrants to mainland Spain.
According to national Spanish daily ABC, the latest flight left Gran Canaria Airport yesterday afternoon, Wednesday March 17 bound for Madrid, one of many which aim to alleviate the healthcare system in the Canary Islands, overwhelmed by the number of illegal immigrants.
In the second half of 2020, more than 2,000 immigrants were sent from the Canaries to Spain, and the arrival of boats carrying illegal immigrants to the shores of the islands was said in January to be up 35 per cent from last year. Despite this, the rate at which they are arriving is down from the last months of 2020, when the Canaries were under a level of pressure not seen since 2006.
The transfers are arranged by the Ministry of Inclusion, Social Security and Migration, although the Interior Ministry needs to authorise each of them to travel. Their tickets are reportedly paid for by NGOs. They are normally sent to Madrid, where there are more resources to deal with their arrival, but then later sent to other provinces throughout Spain.
All of them are tested for coronavirus prior to boarding.
The Partido Popular has complained that these transfers, instead of more deportations, are having the effect of encouraging more immigrants to try their luck getting from North Africa to Spanish territory. In 2020, ABC reported, deportations did not account for even 10 per cent of the arriving immigrants.
In November last year, the government announced that up to 7,000 places were being made available to house immigrants arriving in the Canary Islands.
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