Justice and Home Affairs: Meps Visit Ceuta and Melilla to Probe Migration Management Regime

Article excerpt

The delegation was led by the Chairman of the European Parliament's Civil Liberties Committee Jean-Marie Cavada (Liberals, France). After meeting with Spanish officials in Madrid on December 7, MEPs went to Melilla on December 8 and Ceuta on December 9, where they visited the immigrant reception centres and non-governmental organisations (NGOs). This is the second such visit by the EP's Civil Liberties Committee - the first being to the Italian island of Lampedusa in the Mediterranean on September 15/16. A visit to Malta, another site of major migratory influxes in recent months, is also on the cards.

Migrant worker slams Spain.

Father Josep Boades Fuster, who works for the Catholic organisation JRS, which defends the rights of asylum-seekers and immigrants, recounted his first-hand experiences the day before the delegation was due to depart. Father Fuster said the deportees he followed included illegal immigrants and asylum-seekers still in Morocco as well as ones expelled from Ceuta and Meililla. He slammed Spain for not allowing people to apply for asylum that had a right to do so such as those fleeing the Democratic Republic of Congo. He said Morocco was not a safe country, so migrants who enter Spain via Morocco should not be sent back there.

At the height of the most recent migratory crisis, the Moroccans were expelling 1,500-2,000 people per week, Father Fuster said. …