Nearly 400 migrants arrive in Canarys in one day

14th May 2007, Comments 0 comments

14 May 2007, LAS PALMAS - Nearly 400 African migrants were caught trying to enter Spain's Canary Islands by boat on Monday.

14 May 2007

LAS PALMAS - Nearly 400 African migrants were caught trying to enter Spain's Canary Islands by boat on Monday.

This brought the number of arrivals on the islands to more than 800 in the past five days said the Interior Ministry.

Ministry spokeswoman Candelaria Cedallos said 339 would-be immigrants, mostly male and from sub-Saharan African countries, arrived in five boats between midnight and 10 a.m.

Over the weekend nearly 500 illegal immigrants were intercepted in the Canary Islands.

The latest arrivals came on a busy weekend for crossings from Africa to the Canary Islands, where 77 migrants arrived Saturday night on the island of El Hierro after being rescued on the high seas 165 nautical miles south of Tenerife, and 342 others made landfall in the islands between early Friday and Saturday aboard 11 small vessels.

The Canary Islands have become a favored destination for African emigrants seeking to make it to Europe to look for work.

Illegal immigrants from sub-Saharan Africa have increasingly opted for the sea route to the Canary Islands in recent years, especially since Madrid tightened security around two Spanish enclaves in North Africa that were being used as a bridge into Europe.

The sea separating Africa from the Canary Islands has long been the scene of attempted crossings - some successful and others not - of people from African countries hoping to reach the coast of Spain in an effort to stay in that country or continue on to another European destination.

To make the trip, illegal immigrants crowd into small boats that take to the sea - almost always at night - and not infrequently sink due to the excess weight on board.

In 2006, 30,259 illegal immigrants arrived in the Canary Islands by sea, according to Spanish government figures.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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