Cadiz detention centres release 495 illegal immigrants due to lack of space

A CHRONIC lack of space at the CIEs (foreigners’ internment centres) in Tarifa and Algeciras, Cadiz, has led to 495 immigrants who arrived from Africa on dinghies in the space of a week being allowed to walk free.

While immigrants caught attempting to illegally enter Spain are initially sent to CIEs, the number of people already filling the centres in Cadiz meant this was impossible and the police were forced to hand the new arrivals over to NGOs.

Meanwhile, judge Belen Barranco complained of the overcrowded conditions at the CIE in Tarifa following a recent visit. Inmates, the judge said, are suffering conditions which require “immediate correction.”

Barranco has urged management of both centres to put an immediate stop to the use of rooms for more than three people, to ensure each room be provided with its own bathroom including shower and flushing toilet, and provide somewhere for inmates to receive visits.

The current conditions at the centres, ONG representatives have said, are similar to those of a prison, yet inmates have committed no crime and are simply guilty of attempting to enter the country without the correct paperwork. Plus, said Jose Miguel Sanchez, a criminal law professor from Madrid’s Rey Juan Carlos University, most of those who are sent to the centre will never actually be deported anyway and will go free after their maximum 60-day stay in the centre, meaning the process is pointless.

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