Canary president leads call for more help over increased arrival of migrants
The Canary Islands are demanding more resources and the European Union’s commitment to care for the constant arrival of migrants to the coasts of the archipelago.
The last few months have seen arrivals of small boats from Africa on almost a daily basis, many carrying young children, babies and pregnant women, and ending in death for some. All of the islands have been affected, including Tenerife and Gran Canaria.
President of the Canary Islands, Ángel Víctor Torres held a meeting recently with Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska and said it had been “productive”.
In order to achieve maximum representation of the institutions and agencies involved, the Secretary of State for Migration, Hana Jalloul Muro, also participated in the meeting; the Government delegate in the Canary Islands, Anselmo Pestana; representatives of councils (FECAI) and muni-cipalities (FECAM); the vice president of the Canarian Government, Román Rodríguez and the councillors whose departments are involved in the matter; the heads of the State security forces and bodies on the islands; and representatives of non-governmental organisations and groups specialised in attention to migration.
Sr. Torres thanked the Minister and the Secretary of State for his presence on the islands just one day before the celebration in Madrid of the Delegated Commission for Migration Affairs when the request was relayed. He stressed that “we must respond to this situation that worries us today more than at the end of last year, because we have had an indisputable upturn in 2020” with the arrival of at least 916 people in boats.
Among the proposed mea-sures, the Canarian president highlighted the increase of economic, material, spatial and human resources for the attention of migrants, the intensification of controls at source and diplomatic relations with the countries with which Spain has an agreement. Ángel Víctor Torres highlighted the need for return protocols to be carried out with the maximum gua-rantees of legality and respect for human rights. He also requested the commitment of the European Union to activate solidarity protocols and thus attend to migratory flows.
The head of the Canarian Executive said that the module of mothers of the women’s prison in Tenerife will soon be enabled as a place to receive migrants and highlighted “the effort of the cabildos, which are offering places for un-accompanied minors above those contemplated in the agreement, as well as the implication of the munici-palities and of all the orga-nisms and institutions present in the meeting. ”