Footage has emerged of a packed boat carrying around 50 migrants coming into a busy beach full of tourists in Spain.
The video was filmed by an onlooker at the Barrosa beach in the municipality of Chiclana, in the southern Spanish province of Cadiz.
The footage shows an inflatable boat carrying dozens of people as it approaches the shore. As it gets to the beach, passengers on the boat can be seen jumping off and sprinting onto the land, with some running towards a nearby cliff face.
Local media have reported the majority of the people getting off the boat were minors, and around a dozen of them were attended to at a nearby hotel.
You can watch the footage here:
According to city council officials, the Spanish Civil Guard have begun an operation to find the immigrants.
Shortly after the boat landed, the Spanish Civil Guard arrested two people, according to witnesses.
The incident comes after the Marine Rescue Service recently rescued 58 migrants on board a boat in the Gibraltar Strait. Earlier this year, Spain also took in 630 people after the Aquarius rescue boat they were on was turned away from Italy and Malta.
Local media report 500 migrants have landed on the Andalusian coast on 18 different boats since Friday, August 24.
In 2018, 27,000 immigrants and refugees have arrived in Spain, mostly by boat, according to The Guardian.
Earlier this month, José Villahoz, president of Algeciras Acoge, a branch of an Andalucian NGO that works to protect, educate and integrate migrants and refugees, told The Guardian:
The first thing we need to be clear about is that there’s a bit of unwarranted alarm over the arrivals we’ve seen over the past month.
In 2006, almost 40,000 reached Spain by arriving on the shores of the Canary islands and Cádiz. We’ve had lots of people arriving here for many years but it’s only now the politicians are making a lot of noise and creating a lot of alarm. In 2003, it was about 20,000.
Earlier this year, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said that Spain is committed to a joint European response to illegal migration, pushing migration further up the agenda after he took office, reports Reuters.
Speaking to local media, Sanchez said:
There cannot be a unilateral response. With the Aquarius we made a gesture of solidarity but a humanitarian crisis is one thing and migration policy another. And that migration policy must have a joint, European response.
The Prime Minister suggested that the current crisis over migrant policy is, in part, due to a lack of European ‘solidarity’ with countries such as Italy who have borne the brunt of illegal immigration.
Sanchez has also met with French Prime Minister Emmanuel Macron, who has also shown support for a joint European response, such as a plan to process asylum applicants in closed centres on European soil.
Amparo González, a migration researcher at the Spanish National Research Council and a member of the group Economists Against the Crisis, said that the good summer weather, the closure of other European routes and a lax approach from north African countries has contributed to the recent surge in migration.
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Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.