Spain to Senegal: Stay Home

By Prados, Adrian Bleifuss | In These Times, April 2008 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Spain to Senegal: Stay Home


Prados, Adrian Bleifuss, In These Times


IN SEPTEMBER 2007, Senegalese television viewers saw the image of a drowned body washed up on a rocky seashore. In the grim advertisement-paid for by Spain's secretary of state for immigration-a grieving mother explains that she hasn't heard from her son in months.

The spot then cuts to Senegalese pop star Youssou N'Dour. Seated on a boat with ocean surf in the background, the singer tells the audience in the Wolof language, "You already know how this story ends. Thousands of young people have died. Don't risk your life for nothing. You are the future of Africa."

Ricardo Losa, a spokesman for the Spanish Ministry of External Affairs and Cooperation, says the aim of the campaign is to encourage the Senegalese to pursue legal avenues of immigration and avoid dangerous sea-crossings.

The drowning deaths of would-be immigrants have added a tragic element to what is becoming an increasingly heated debate within Spain and across Europe. According to the Spanish Civil Guard, thousands of immigrants have died attempting the voyage. During a 45-day period in 2005, the guard estimated that as many as 1,700 Mauritanians were lost at sea.

At a time when far-right politicians are gaining ground across Northern Europe, Spain has taken a different tack. Despite the infamous fences that encase Spain's North African enclaves, Ceuta and Mellita, the center-left government of Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero has implemented one of the most liberal immigration regimes in Europe.

Zapatero's government has legalized-or, in the government's words, "regularized"-hundreds of thousands of undocumented foreigners. This has drawn the ire of Spain's right-wing opposition, as well as criticism from other leaders, such as French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who perceive Spain to be an open gate to the European Union.

However, before immigrants reach Spanish soil, many must brave dangerous voyages in un-seaworthy vessels. One of the most treacherous routes is between continental Africa and the Canary Islands, off the Moroccan coast.

Given Senegal's dismal economy, many are willing to risk the waters in search of a better life.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Spain to Senegal: Stay Home
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?