Statewatch News Online: Spain: Immigration statistics from the interior ministry

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Immigration statistics from the interior ministry

In February 2012, the Spanish interior ministry produced a statistical round-up on the "fight against illegal immigration" in Spain for 2011, featuring comparative data for the years 2010 and 2011. The key figures provided in the presentation are the following:

- There has been an increase in arrivals by boat in 2011, up from 3,632 in 2010 to 5,443 in 2011.

- Arrivals by boat in the Canary islands rose from 196 in 2010 to 340 in 2011.

- Arrivals by boat in the mainland and Balearic islands rose from 3,436 in 2010 to 5,103 in 2011.

- The number of repatriations has remained roughly stable, in spite of a marginal increase from 30,163 in 2010 to 30,792 in 2011. The breakdown of these repatriations shows that the number of refusals of entry has grown by 1,639, from 9,453 in 2010 to 11,092 in 2011, whereas the other categories have all fallen: substantially in the case of readmissions, from 1,959 to 1,278; marginally for returns, from 7,297 to 7,064, and for expulsions, from 11,454 to 11,358.

The round-up also features statistics to compare figures from 2011 with 2006, the year when the largest number of arrivals in Spain were recorded (over 20,000 more than in any other year, mainly in the Canary islands) following a change in migration routes that resulted in thousands dying in the Atlantic Ocean after setting off from the western coast of Africa. They show that:

- The number of arrivals by boat on the Spanish mainland and Balearic islands has fallen from 7,502 in 2006 to 5,103 in 2011. Those in the Canary islands have fallen dramatically, from 31,678 in 2006 to 340 in 2011.

- The overall figure of arrivals by boat has decreased from 39,180 in 2006 to 5,443 in 2011.

Two graphs covering a ten-year period are included, the first of which shows a sizeable overall decrease in arrivals by boat between 2001 and 2011. Starting at 18,517 in 2001, it remained roughly steady until 2004 (with a peak of 19,176 in 2003 and a low point of 15,675 in 2004), plummeting to 11,781, in 2005 before it rose sharply in 2006 to 39,180 and then decreased steadily to 18,056 in 2007, up until the lowest figure on record in 2010, 3,632. In spite of the latest increase to 5,443 arrivals in 2011, it remains the second lowest figure in a decade. As for arrivals by boat in the Canary islands, the ten-year graph shows that it has become a marginal phenomenon, with 340 arrivals in 2011, after the 2001-2005 period during which the figure ranged between 4,105 and 9,875, a peak in 2006 with 31,678, and a subsequent fall to 12,478 in 2007, to 9,181 in 2008, to 2,246 in 2009, and then into the hundreds in 2010 (196) and 2011 (340).

In spite of a large increase over the last year in arrivals in Ceuta and Melilla, the two Spanish enclaves in northern Morocco, from 1,567 in 2010 to 3,345 in 2011, comparison with the figure for 2005, when 5,566 arrivals were recorded, shows a decrease by 2,221 over a six-year period.

Statistics concerning so-called "qualified expulsions", described as repatriations involving "foreign criminals with criminal or judicial records, linked to terrorism, organised groups, gender-based violence, or other particularly serious criminal acts that entail a threat for public security", show that since the national police set up the Brigada de Expulsión de Delincuentes Extranjeros (BEDEX, Brigade for the Expulsion of Foreign Offenders) in 2009, the figure has grown from 7,591 in 2009 to 8,196 in 2010 and then to 9,114 in 2011.

As for the total number of expulsions, it fell from 13,278 in 2009 to 11,454 in 2010 and then remained roughly stable at 11,358 in the following year. The presentation notes an increase in the proportion of "qualified expulsions" (from 57% in 2009 to 80% in 2011) and a decrease in the proportion of other kinds of expulsion (from 43% in 2009 to 20% in 2011, respectively accounting for 5,687 and 2,244 expulsions).

"Balance de la lucha contra la inmigración ilegal. 2011." Ministerio del Interior, February 2012

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