By Tony Winterburn • 20 November 2020 • 21:52
Spain’s Canary Islands Government Houses 7,000 Immigrants-but Continues to Maintain Repatriations.
The Canary Islands Government is setting up camps to house 7,000 immigrants but said it will continue to maintain repatriations. It is a provisional measure in the face of the overwhelming situation that is being experienced on the island of Gran Canaria. The Government believes that 90% of the immigrants who have arrived in recent days can be returned to their countries as their applications will not pass the criteria needed.
The Minister of Inclusion, Social Security and Migration, José Luis Escrivá, has announced a plan for the Canary Islands to count “in a short space of time” with 7,000 reception places in seven new spaces. The Government’s response comes shortly after regional President Angel Victor Torres refused to have the Canary Islands alone support 100% of the migration.
On the repatriations of migrants arriving in the Canary Islands, Escrivá explained that most are “returnable” (his own words)! since in principle, they are not candidates to enter the Ministry’s reception system, which focuses on vulnerable people and those who have requested international protection. “Perhaps 10% of those who are arriving are illegible to stay but given the complex situation we are helping as much as possible to interpret our mandate as flexibly as possible,” he said.
Currently, in the Canary Islands, there are 5,500 migrants spread over a total of 17 hotels, an emergency resource that the Ministry plans to stop using with future housing expansions. In particular, the plan of the Ministry of Inclusion envisages seven sites in Gran Canaria (1,950 places), Tenerife (3,250) and Fuerteventura (700), where 95% of arrivals are concentrated. These will be incorporated into the reception system and will be added to the 1,100 places of their own that are already in use.
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