Figures show scale of migration to Ceuta and Melilla

MORE than 20,000 people tried to enter Spain without permission through the borders of Ceuta and Melilla in 2014.

Of those attempts, 2,300 people successfully made it into the African enclave cities, most of them entering Melilla.

Figures obtained by press agency EFE confirm that the illegal entry of immigrants through Ceuta’s border has decreased, although it has rocketed at Melilla’s frontier, where numbers have doubled compared to those in 2013.

Cooperation with Morocco, whose authorities have become more involved in the control of irregular immigration, the reinforcement of police presence in the area and ‘anti-climbing’ fences have prevented large number of immigrants from jumping over the fences.

The number of migrants arriving in Melilla by sea dropped in 2014, at 200 people, as opposed to 250 in 2013. Instead, the fence was the main objective for the many who survive in makeshift camps in the land around Melilla, with 2,200 finally managing to jump over it and enter the country.

In total, 18,800 migrants tried to reach their goal of entering Europe through Melilla’s border fence, including 170 attempts carried out by large groups of people attempting to scale the fence at the same time. On 20 such occasions, the groups were successful, and n others they were pushed back by Guardia Civil and Moroccan Local Police.

Melilla’s Temporary Immigrant Shelter (CETI) is currently operating at full capacity.

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