Asylum requests and illegal immigration in Spain plummet under coronavirus crisis state of alarm

Image of incident in the resort of El Arenal de Llucmajor. Credit: Facebook - Protecció Civil Llucmajor

ASYLUM requests and illegal immigration in Spain have plummeted since the coronavirus state of alarm came into force.

Just 25 people asked for asylum in Spain during the first week of the decree, provisional figures from the European Asylum Support Office reveal. This compares with more than 3,800 the previous week and nearly 4,200 in the first week of March.

Most of the asylum-seekers were Venezuelans, Colombians and Central Americans who arrived by plane, now not possible under the health emergency measures.

New asylum request application processing has been suspended until the state of alarm ends and face-to-face interviews can be resumed, although the Interior Ministry has reported that the Asylum office continues operating online and “with limitations” to resolve cases presented before the health emergency.

The closure of borders, the suspension of flights and the restrictions on movement to stop the spread of Covid-19 have also led to a major drop in attempts to enter the country illegally by land or sea to the lowest numbers in recent years.

Between March 16 and 22 only 93 people managed to enter Spanish territory, Interior Ministry figures show, 70 by sea and 23 overland.

The previous week’s figure was more than 350.

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Written by

Cathy Elelman

Cathy Elelman is the local writer for the Costa de Almeria edition of the Euro Weekly News.

Based in Mojacar for the last 21 years, Cathy is very much part of the local community and is always well and truly up on all the latest news and events going on in this region of Spain.

Her top goals are to do the best job she can informing the local English-speaking community, visitors to the area and the wider world about about the news in Almeria, to learn something new every day, and to embrace very new challenge this fast-changing world brings her way.

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