First quarter half fewer migrants arrive illegally in Spain than last year

by Lorraine Williamson
fewer migrants arriving in Spain

A total of 4,287 migrants arrived illegally in Spain in the first quarter of 2023, reports Spain’s Interior Ministry. This is 50.9% fewer than the number registered between 1 January and 31 March 2022 (8,727). 

This continues the downward trend shown by this data since the end of last year. This is mainly due to the decrease in the number of illegal entries into the country by sea and especially through the Canary Islands. 

According to the data, the number of illegal arrivals by sea (4,067 so far this year) fell by 46.5% compared to the same period last year. Back then, 7,605 arrivals were recorded. In the Canary Islands, the drop is 63.3%. This year, there are 2,178 registered arrivals in this first quarter of 2023. In the same period of 2022, there were 5,940. 

Cogesa Expats

Fewer migrants also arrived by sea via the coasts of Ceuta and Melilla. In Ceuta, 31 arrivals were recorded between January and March 2022 and 16 this year, while in Melilla, there were 43 in the first quarter of last year. In 2023 so far, 32. 

Notable changes 

In contrast, mainland and Balearic figures are up 15.7% compared to the same period last year. Between 1 January and 31 March this year, a total of 1,841 illegal migrants entered Spain through its coasts. A year ago, there were 1,591. This is the first time that the number of migrants taking this route has increased.  

The number of illegal entries through the land border of Ceuta has also decreased compared to 2022. In this autonomous city, 199 migrants crossed the border illegally in the first three months of the year. This is 3.9% less than the 207 who crossed the same fence during the same period in 2022. This downward trend has also continued in Melilla. From 915 migrants in the first quarter last year, the number dropped to 21 in the first three months of 2023. 

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