This year, in particular over the past few months, we have witnessed hundreds if illegal migrants from Algeria being intercepted and arrested in Mallorca and Balearic waters. For the most part, the majority fortunately made it to land safe and sound, a few sadly died at sea. And those over the age of 18 have either been flown back to Algeria or remain in holding centres, pending deportation.
A confidential document compiled by the Spanish authorities and seen by AFP, shows 9,664 Algerians have illegally entered Spain since the start of the year, or 20 percent more than last year. According to Frontex, the agency which protects the EU’s external borders, Algerians are the largest group of foreigners entering Spain illegally - and the third-largest in Europe. On the Algerian side, 4,704 migrants have been stopped trying to leave in 2021, more than half of them in September, the Algerian Defence Ministry says.
And in a new twist, more and more women and children are risking their lives to make the crossing. It would appear that the Algerians are doing their bit to try and prevent migrants from leaving, but they are unable to stop them all and Spain, among other countries is having to rescue and care for the rest.
The Balearic authorities are open to helping refugees but clearly more needs to be done to stop the human traffickers and convince would be migrants that Europe may not be the promised land.