Due to the increase in migrant arrivals on the shores of the Canary Islands, the Government has opened about 7,000 emergency sites in different parts of Spain during the past two months, as stated said José Luis Escrivá, Minister of Inclusion, Social Security and Migration. to the Reception, Care and Referral Center (CREADE) in Pozuelo de Alarcón (Madrid). As already done by the Executive in the urgent housing of Ukrainian refugees, 5,000 people transferred from the Canary Islands are accommodated in hotels – closed during the year -, while the Executive ends the opening of temporary ones camp on four military lands provided by the Defense.
The Government will create two emergency camps on military land in Madrid to accommodate migrants arriving in the Canary Islands
After the alarming statements of various mayors and regional leaders of the Popular Party, Escrivá visited CREADE in Pozuelo this Monday, the reference center for Ukrainian refugees in the Community of Madrid, which hosts people who different nationalities for months. Among them are 250 migrants transferred from the Canary Islands in recent weeks – most of them Senegalese – whose arrival sparked a xenophobic reaction from the mayor of Pozuelo, who asked for “reinforcement of security” in the zalles in the area.
The minister explained the operation that was put in place to manage the increase in arrivals to the Islands. If two months ago the system had 38,000 reception areas, now there are 43,000. As the Ministry opens new emergency camps, people living in hotels, hostels or shelters will be moved to spaces built in four military grounds on the peninsula.
The first to open its doors, next week, is the Arteaga General Headquarters, located in Carabanchel (Madrid). At the end of the same week, Migrations plans to send the first people to the old sea hospital in Cartagena. Later, it was the turn of some facilities provided by the Defense of Alcalá de Henares.
“We think that we can transfer them to these camps that are more appropriate, as we have done in the Canary Islands at the time,” explained Escrivá, who recalled that his Ministry also used hotels and hostels to temporarily will host 10,000 Ukrainian. refugees in 2022.
“We are used to managing difficult situations, with flexibility, with a comprehensive vision of our entire reception system throughout the national territory. And that’s what we did this time. It’s true that the continuous arrival of people from the Canary Islands, where the situation has become worse, we have to alleviate the situation, which expands us in the number of places,” explained the minister.
This Tuesday, the minister called an information meeting with the mayors of the major cities in Spain, the president of the Spanish Federation of Municipalities and Provinces, María José Pelayo, and the councilors of the autonomous communities after the criticism which was launched by various mayors and presidents. autonomous communities, regarding the alleged lack of information received regarding the arrival of migrants transferred from the Canary Islands. Escrivá remembers that he was waiting “to have enough information to share” with the town councils and the autonomous communities.
In addition, the head of Migration remembers the difference between the type of reception of Ukrainian refugees, where greater coordination of towns and communities is required, and the migrants transferred from the Canary Islands. “In the case of Ukraine there are 200,000 people with long-term visas and therefore, with pressure on health services and education services, because 80,000 children have arrived that need to be enrolled in school and from in the beginning we worked with the autonomous communities and we cooperated with them,” said Escrivá. “This situation is completely different. They are people whose average stay in our reception system exceeds a little more than a month and very few of them stay in the places where they arrive. Therefore, there is no great need to strengthen care with services other than our own acceptance.”
This Tuesday’s meeting, which will be held via videoconference starting at 5 p.m., has a simple informative purpose, according to Escrivá, who believes that many of the reactions that have arisen among the various mayors and regional presidents due to “lack of knowledge” about the operation of Spain’s reception policy.
“We know through different statements made from different times in recent weeks that there is a lot of ignorance about how our reception system works and how we operate,” he criticized. “I will explain to you during the meeting tomorrow how the reception center will work, because I feel that there have been many changes in governments and maybe those who have recently arrived do not know it very well.”
The minister will also provide details on the deployment of new areas in response to the emergency. Escrivá clarified that the methods of cooperation can be evaluated “if we really know that these people will stay in the municipalities or autonomous communities.”
“In most cases they are people who spend less time in our reception center because they have different expectations. What they expect is to quickly find places of origin, places of family, places where they have greater capacity to start a new life, I say in Spain or in Europe,” concluded the minister.