The Government proposes transferring minors to the peninsula to alleviate the collapse of the detention centers in Ceuta
The situation on the border with Morocco on Ceuta Y Melilla has returned relatively calm, after the Moroccan authorities interrupted early this Wednesday the mass transit through the Tarajal border crossing, through which in the last 48 hours a little more than 8,000 people.
According to data from the Ministry of the Interior, the number of returned citizens already exceeds 5,600 and the Government is now looking for solutions to alleviate the delicate situation of the reception centers in Ceuta. This Wednesday, the Minister of Social Rights, Ione Belarra, will meet with the counselors of the branch of all the autonomous communities to ask them to welcome some of the minor migrants who were already being sheltered by the administration in the autonomous city before the crisis unleashed this week. The objective, according to sources from the Executive, is to mitigate the collapse of the Ceuta centers so that they can attend to the hundreds of people who have arrived irregularly in the last hours.
Belarra will meet with the autonomous communities this Wednesday at 3:00 p.m. after convening on Tuesday the Territorial Council of Social Services for the first time since she was appointed minister a few weeks ago. The only point of this extraordinary meeting will be the one to address the “migration crisis”, Although, however, the Government, in the last hours, has clarified that the problem also has a lot of “challenge” from Morocco to Spain, in the words of President Pedro Sánchez himself.
Tomorrow I have convened an urgent Territorial Council to address, together with the Autonomous Communities, the situation of children who migrate alone in Ceuta.
We must offer a collective response as a country that lives up to our international commitments to children’s rights.
– Ione Belarra (@ionebelarra) May 18, 2021
However, beyond the diplomatic clash and the Government pointing directly to Rabat – Vice President Carmen Calvo has even spoken of “aggression on our borders” – the truth is that the massive entry of people irregularly into Ceuta supposes a humanitarian problem that, in addition, has put in check the reception services of the city and, in some cases, it has generated public order problems. For this reason, the Government wants to reduce the pressure by diverting at least a part of the migrant minors received in Ceuta to other communities in order to free up places and means that allow to attend to the new arrivals.
This will be raised at the meeting this Wednesday with the communities, although the idea is not to transfer the minors who have entered Ceuta in the last hours, but only those who were already there being welcomed by the administration. Government sources, however, point out that the almost 5,000 immigrants already returned to Morocco by the Interior – without clarifying the protocol followed for this – are joined by other minors, some of them children, who are voluntarily asking to return to their country at the have been alone and without means in Ceuta, where in some cases they would have arrived deceived.
Resistance in some communities
In this sense, the mayor-president of Ceuta, Juan Jesús Vivas, demanded on Tuesday a “swift and forceful action” by the State to return migrants to Morocco and also “to be cared for, because now they wander the streets aimlessly.” And the possibility that other communities have to take in some of these people has already generated clashes in autonomous governments such as Andalusia, made up of PP and Cs but supported in parliament by Vox.
On Tuesday, the Andalusian Government’s Equality Minister, Rocío Ruiz, stated that her community is “waiting” for the arrival of vulnerable minors to “care for them”, although she referred to some of the people who have entered Ceuta irregularly this week, to those that are not contemplated to transfer. But the counselor of the Presidency, Elías Bendodo, had to disavow it this Wednesday after Vox stated that “it will not consent” that Andalusia take charge of these minors and threaten to withdraw its support from the Andalusian Government if it accepts them. “Let him resign, go home and wait for those he wants there,” snapped the parliamentary spokesman for Vox in the community, Manuel Gavira.