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Spain holds 200 Moroccan migrants

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Issue: 22 Section: International News Geography: Africa, Europe Spain, Morocco Topics: migration

September 30, 2004

Spain holds 200 Moroccan migrants

Mild weather and the promise of legal status have spurred over 200 Moroccans to risk a journey to Spain in small crafts.
Over 200 Moroccans caught trying to illegally enter Spain are being held by authorities in Granada pending their return to Morocco. The Spanish Coast Guard intercepted five inflatable boats loaded with migrants, which brings the total captured to 1500 for the year – double the figure from this time last year. Over 4000 illegal migrants are believed to have died in the treacherous crossing between Morocco and Spain in the past five years alone.

The increased migration this year is believed to be a result of particularly fair weather, which favours water crossing in small crafts, and also because Spain's new socialist government is considering granting residence permits to illegal migrants with jobs. Spanish opposition parties have seized on the migration numbers as evidence that this relaxed immigration policy is flawed.

Nevertheless, in the recent months the US government has discussed a similar amnesty for illegal migrants as a means of solving expected long-term labour shortages, though this move is believed to be as much a way of courting the Latino vote in upcoming US presidential elections as anything. Proposals to accept more immigration into Canada have been put forward as a means of countering a declining national birthrate, though little movement in this direction is expected with the fragile minority government currently in place.

» Reuters: Spain holds 200 Moroccans

» CBS: Big Change For Illegal Aliens?

» London Free Press: Labour shortage looms in London

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The Dominion is a monthly paper published by an incipient network of independent journalists in Canada. It aims to provide accurate, critical coverage that is accountable to its readers and the subjects it tackles. Taking its name from Canada's official status as both a colony and a colonial force, the Dominion examines politics, culture and daily life with a view to understanding the exercise of power.

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