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More than 15,000 sub-Saharan migrants reach Spain in 2017
OVER 15,000 migrants have been rescued attempting to reach Spain this year, far exceeding the total of 13,246 of last year, according to the International Migration Organisation (OIM).
This weekend, 470 sub-Saharan Africans in 45 small, overcrowded boats were attended to by the coastguard when they reached the shores of Murcia, and a fortnight ago, over 600 reached Andalucía in the space of three days.
As at October 31, the coastguard had coordinated the rescue of exactly 13,533 migrants, mostly sub-Saharan Africans, arriving on 824 boats, and in the last three weeks this has increased by over 1,500.
Major arrivals include 29 Africans in four boats off the coast of Tarifa (Cádiz province) on November 8 and, two days later, another 20 on one boat who reached the shores of Adra (Almería province).
Also in Andalucía, the following day brought 195 migrants in four boats to the province of Málaga, and the day after, 60 were rescued 10 kilometres south of Barbate (Cádiz province).
Coastguard officials in the Canary Islands attended to 36 migrants on one boat in the port of Los Cristianos in Arona, Tenerife, and two days after this, three boats carrying 102 sub-Saharans were rescued near Alborán Island, about halfway between Almería and Morocco.
These do not include those migrants who arrived overland, managing to cross the border fences from Morocco to the Spanish city-provinces of Ceuta and Melilla on its coast.
Other than Ceuta and Melilla, the main entry routes are via the Strait of Gibraltar heading for the coast of the province of Cádiz, and towards Almería via the Alborán Sea.
The 15,000-plus who made it to Spain would have been placed in migration internment centres, from which they can apply for asylum and will be held until either they are granted refugee status, or they are deported.
The process can take months, or even years.
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