MADRID – The Spanish government has moved between 5,000 and 6,000 migrants from the Canary Islands to the Spanish mainland. The decision is intended to relieve the burden on the overcrowded reception centres on the islands.
The islands are burdened by the constant arrival of migrants. According to José Luis Escrivá, the acting Minister of Inclusion, Social Security and Migrations, there are currently 13,000 migrants in the national reception network: 6,000 on the islands and 7,000 on the mainland.
Not all migrants on the mainland come from the Canary Islands. The transfer is part of a broader plan to reduce pressure on the Canary Islands and to find new reception locations.
Escrivá expressed his dissatisfaction with the criticism of several municipalities and regional governments, especially those of the Partido Popular (PP). He labelled some of their comments as “xenophobic”. He further emphasised that the Spanish government has the situation under control.
Destinations and local reactions
Cities such as Granada and Almería will host more than 300 of the migrants moved to the mainland. However, the Junta de Andalucía has criticised the government for receiving 25% of the islands’ migrants without sufficient coordination with the autonomous communities.
Future plans and consequences
The Spanish government’s aim is to relieve the burden on the reception network of the Canary Islands, where more than 23,000 people have already arrived this year. This number is an increase of 80% compared to last year. More reception facilities will be opened on the mainland to handle the growing numbers of migrants.