Police in Palma as boat with migrants docks. | MDB


Up to June 21, a total of 1,035 illegal immigrants arrived in the Balearics. They represented a 128% increase compared with the January 1 to June 21 period of 2023 and were the highest numbers ever. There were 66 small boats, an increase of more than 150%.

Over half of the migrants were caught in Ibiza and Formentera. In Mallorca there were 282. However, this figure was augmented by arrivals in Cabrera, where there was an increase of close to 700%.

By nationality, the overwhelming majority were Algerian (720), followed by sub-Saharan (269). There were also 34 Moroccans and 12 Asians. February has been the month so far this year with the most migrants - 259 on 16 boats.

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Some of the migrants do get deported, but this isn't the case with Algerians. When they arrive, they are processed by the National Police - as with all illegal immigrants - and dealt with by a temporary attention centre.

The police, who are greatly concerned about the increased numbers, point out that it has become impossible to send Algerians back because of the breakdown in diplomatic relations between Spain and Algeria. Once the Algerians are identified, they are released.

A senior officer says: "This situation is generating very serious conflicts, such as those that have occurred in Son Gotleu and Arenal. Ten days ago in Formentera, the Guardia Civil arrested several Algerians for shoplifting just three hours after they had arrived on a small boat. In Mallorca we are experiencing many problems wherever they can get to by bus or train. Son Gotleu and Arenal are the tip of the iceberg."