Migrants detained in Mallorca

The migrant route has existed for years. This image is from 2012.

01-12-2020Jaume Morey

The Balearic social affairs minister, Fina Santiago, stated in parliament on Tuesday that the migrant route from Algeria to the Balearics has become "permanent" and that it can only possibly end when the situation in Algeria improves. Mostly all of the illegal immigrants are from Algeria.

Santiago was responding to the Partido Popular's Juan Manuel Lafuente, who pointed to the increased number of migrants - 480 in 2018, 199 in 2019, but more than 1,400 so far this year. The minister stressed that cooperation and efforts made at source in Algeria were ways of combating the migration, and she regretted the fact that in 2016 - when the government delegation in the Balearics was under the Partido Popular government in Madrid - the delegation denied the existence of the migrant route.

The regional government, she emphasised, does not have jurisdiction over border controls. Its policy is to ensure that human rights are respected. "When a person is in Spanish territory, he or she should be treated as a citizen and with all inherent human rights."

The minister explained that many of the migrants are young people who say they have no hope or work in their country. This is despite having a high level of training. They do not wish to stay in the Balearics, and only minors remain, as they are protected by the first territory they arrive in, which is in accordance with European laws.

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