Ceuta, Spain facing influx of immigrants

World Today

Fleeing war, poverty and persecution, tens of thousands have left their homelands in Syria and North Africa and gone to Europe. Last year, thousands of immigrants crossed into Spain illegally and the number is expected to increase in 2015. The locality known as Ceuta is interesting because it is Spanish territory, but it is physically and geographically connected to the African continent. CCTV’s Dan Williams filed this report from the Spanish-Moroccan border in Ceuta, Spain.

ceuta

Ceuta, Spain facing influx of immigrants

Ceuta, Spain facing influx of immigrants

Fleeing war, poverty and persecution, tens of thousands have left their homelands in Syria and North Africa and gone to Europe. Last year, thousands of immigrants crossed into Spain illegally and the number is expected to increase in 2015. The locality known as Ceuta is interesting because it is Spanish territory, but it is physically and geographically connected to the African continent.CCTV's Dan Williams filed this report from the Spanish-Moroccan border in Ceuta, Spain.


Highlights:

  • A huge increase of immigrants into Europe has left the E.U. scrambling for solutions. The E.U.’s latest plan, which still needs U.N. approval, involves using naval forces to intercept these ships, rescue refugees, then destroy the boats.Critics argue this does not address the root cause.
  • Ceuta is located on the African continent but proudly part of Europe.  The Spanish city has a population of 82,000 people and is one of two Spanish territories in Africa.
  • The city is separated from the Spanish mainland by the Mediterranean sea, making it separate from Morocco and the rest of Africa by two, nine-meter high and heavily enforced fences. Infrared cameras, razor wire and a border patrol act as a deterrent to immigrants looking to reach Spain illegally.
  • About 8.4 kilometers of fencing stretches all the way into the Mediterranean sea. Despite the odds, many still attempt to climb the fence or swim around.
  • There have been instances when hundreds of immigrants gather and storm the fence overwhelming the guards. Some are beaten back by Spanish forces. Others are successful, and once in Europe many are allowed to stay.
  • Ceuta is some 24 kilometers from mainland Spain across the Strait of Gibraltar.