The Balearic government should be doing more to help migrants.


The Spanish Network for Immigration and Refugee Aid believes that the Balearic government is abrogating its responsibilities for assisting migrants and has demanded "a specific plan" to address the problem.

Rafael Escudero, the network's general secretary, said on Thursday that society in the Balearics and in Spain expects a progressive government to respond "in accordance with what they say in their institutional statements".

In seeking improvements in the assistance to immigrants who arrive in the Balearics, Escudero has started a round of meetings with representatives of political parties. These exclude the Partido Popular and Vox, who have not wanted to meet him. In addition, the social affairs minister, Fina Santiago of Més, has declined a meeting. She has pointed out that responsibilities lie with the Spanish government.

Escudero has responded to this by arguing that the Balearic government has exclusive powers in matters of migration policies, which "should translate into something more than transferring all responsibility to the Red Cross". Security and border control, he adds, is a state responsibility under the national government delegation in the Balearics.

He agrees that it is indeed up to the government delegation and the national ministry of the interior to increase security force and Maritime Safety Agency resources, but this is only part of what needs to be improved.

Escudero is urging the Balearic government to have an "orderly policy regarding arrivals and care for the migrant population". This includes health screenings and offering the Covid vaccine. He notes that the national ministry of health has approved the administering of the Janssen single-dose vaccine to people in transit.

He also wants the regional government to provide legal advice to migrants, as established by international protocols. "Migration policies are very complex, they cannot be tackled simply by carrying people from one place to another and praying that they leave the territory." The appropriate approach is the opposite of detention in internment centres.