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Arrivals of illegal migrants increased by 51% in Spain so far in 2021


The number of illegal migrant arrivals in Spain from January to the end of September increased by 51%, according to figures released by the Spanish Interior Ministry.

Spain’s Interior Ministry said that in the first nine months of 2021, a total of 28,729 migrants arrived illegally in Spain, up from 19,024 in the same period last year. In January, 3,000 arrived, this number nearly tripled in September, which saw 8,451 arrivals.

About 95% of arrivals arrived in Spain by sea, either to mainland Spain or to the Canary Islands off the coast of West Africa, for a total of 27,136 migrants – a figure of 65% higher than in 2020, according to the newspaper. ABC reports.

According to the newspaper, of the three main routes that contributed to the overall 51% increase in arrivals, the Canary Islands route saw the strongest growth, from 6,124 to 13,118.

The Canary Island route is also considered one of the most dangerous for migrants, with 785 of the just over 1,050 migrants dead or missing en route to Spain en route to the islands, which are popular with British holidaymakers and expatriates. .

Several factors are behind the increase in arrivals, including the easing of travel restrictions linked to coronaviruses and the deterioration of the economy in African countries like Morocco and Algeria.

Regarding the known national origin of migrants arriving in Spain, Algerians represent the largest share with 39%, followed by Moroccans at 20% and Malians at 13%.

However, ABC notes that the vast majority of illegal immigrants refuse to indicate their country of origin – so it is more difficult to deport them.

The illegal migration figures come as Spain has started bringing in Afghan migrants from Pakistan, with a flight from Islamabad arriving with 160 migrants on Wednesday following another flight that contained 84.

The Afghans have arrived at Torrejón air base and join the 2,206 Afghan and Spanish nationals evacuated from the country since it fell to Taliban forces in August.

The operation to bring Afghans from Pakistan comes after the vice-chairman of the Spanish populist party VOX, Jorge Buxadé, warned of potential jihadist elements among the migrants, saying: “We have to be very strict with the entry control of all those who intend to seek refuge or legal residence. in Spain.”

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or by e-mail to ctomlinson (at)