More migrants in the Canaries: what must be done?
Like other islands on the EU's external border, the Canary Islands are now also turning into a migration hotspot. More and more people are arriving there from the coast of Africa, and the islands' authorities are having a hard time coping. Commentators call on policymakers to look beyond border security and also focus on diplomacy and integration.
Balance between border security and integration
Migration must be perceived and dealt with as a complex phenomenon, political scientist Augusto Delkáder Palacios urges in El Español:
“The prevailing discourse is: we must stop migration because it is a security problem. ... The naive variant insists: we must help the countries of origin so that their people don't have to emigrate. ... Irrespective of the political creed of those governing the country, Spain's migration policy has always been in the hands of the Ministry of the Interior and is therefore a matter of police and security policy. As a result, the integration dimension is effectively negated and ignored. ... A better balance must be found between migrant integration policy and border security. We should start talking about the fundamentals of the migration control regulations.”
Spain's left has snubbed Morocco
The ruling left-wing coalition has caused this situation by criticising the Western Sahara policy and thus harming diplomatic relations with Morocco, La Razón comments with annoyance:
“If we add to illegal immigration the threats of terrorism and drug trafficking, it becomes clear that the stability of Morocco is of strategic importance for Spain, and always has been. Up to now Spain's governments have understood this. ... But the current Sánchez and Iglesias 'co-government' has behaved irresponsibly and disloyally towards our neighbour, and on nothing less than the issue of Western Sahara, which is such a sensitive and important issue for Morocco.”
Our system of values is being damaged
This tragic situation is the result of inhumane decisions taken far away from the events in Madrid and Brussels, El País complains:
“The government refuses to redirect migrants to the mainland, where some of them could easily be accommodated in existing facilities. Europe also strictly refuses to send them to the mainland because this would mean accepting that they would move across the continent. ... What can be proven is the inhumane treatment of those who arrive and the damage to Spanish and European values.”
Madrid must demand a solution in Brussels
The Canary Islands are being left in the lurch by the Spanish government, El Mundo fumes:
“The minister of the interior, irresponsibly and inexplicably, is not using the resources and personnel available to a country like Spain to deal with the migratory pressure registered on a daily basis on the islands. Added to this is the obvious inability of [Prime Minister] Sánchez to persuade the EU authorities to find a solution to this crisis which affects the entire EU. We are now feeling the consequences of the lack of a common, solid and adequately funded strategy.”