Morocco has become one of the main transit routes for illegal migration into Europe from sub-Saharan Africa. According to the latest report from Frontex, the EU’s immigration body, about 1,000 people successfully swam, sailed or scrambled into Spain in the first three months of this year. But there are up to 20,000 at any one time trapped in what an Institute for Public Policy Research report calls the “myth of transit”.
The EU is now effectively paying Morocco tens of millions of euros a year to keep migrants off its territory. A European Commission spokesperson refused to specify the current amounts, telling me the money is used to “enhance the capacities of Moroccan authorities … in different areas of migration, including border management”. The problem is the Moroccan police are consistently violating the migrants’ human rights.
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