A migrant boat in Formentera. | Europa Press


In 2021, Spain expelled 3,594 of a total of 42,492 illegal migrants - eight per cent.

This information was provided by the government in response to questions from the main opposition party, the Partido Popular. Ana Vázquez, the PP's spokesperson for interior affairs, says that "only 8% of irregular immigrants were expelled and the government isn't providing information on their nationalities". She believes that the average number of expulsions in 2022 is 5% and is demanding firmer repatriation policy, "so as not to cause a pull effect".

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The government hasn't supplied information regarding nationalities, as "dissemination of this type of statistical data could lead to problems in Spain's foreign relations with the possible affected countries". "It would make it difficult in the future for the different embassies and consulates to document irregular foreign citizens, which would seriously affect the effectiveness of new expulsions."

Interior ministry figures up to October 15 indicate a 21.5% decrease in the number of illegal migrants arriving at sea and land borders. The number is 25,169 people. Up to mid-October 2021, there were 32,061.

Arrivals by small boats have dropped by 24% in total. For the mainland coast and the Balearics combined, there have so far been 9,803 - a decrease of 33%. In the Canaries, there have been 13,122 migrants, a fall of 13%. Melilla is the only point of entry to have recorded a rise - 118 by sea, compared to eight for the same period of 2021, and 1,155 entries by land, which compares with 1,026 a year ago.