The State the commitment to a stable reception network in the Canary Islands

The Secretary of State for Migration, Jesús Perea, together with those responsible for cooperation at Casa África. / EFE

The Secretary of Migration insists that the Canary Islands must be prepared to face an "increasingly structural" phenomenon

Ingrid Ortiz-Viera

The 2020 migration crisis has set a precedent that neither the State Government nor that of the Autonomous Community wants to repeat. Proof of this are the efforts to streamline the complex mechanism of transfers, repatriations, border control and other policies that serve to face the challenge of the increase in the arrival of small boats.

The Secretary of State for Migration,
Jesus Perez, highlighted the importance of this matter at an international level yesterday at the closing of the 1st Monographic Meeting of Autonomous Communities Cooperation-Migration that was held at Casa África.

He also highlighted the commitment to the Canary Islands for being one of the most exposed territories and, specifically, he alluded to the work to provide the islands with a stable humanitarian reception network. The dismantling of the infrastructure was one of the main reasons that led some two thousand people to crowd into the Arguineguín dock.

A long-term look

"Thanks to these efforts, during the last year there have been no problems of saturation of the centers, except in those for minors," said Perea. “If we have learned anything, it is that we have to be prepared and
be responsive for something that is going to be less and less circumstantial and more structural».

For the Secretary of Migration, another of the lessons learned has been to look "long term", which is why he affirms that the reinforcement of humanitarian attention spaces will not only allow dealing with specific situations, but will also be included in a polyhedral strategy.

The "volatility" of the routes and the numerous casuistries that can make several migratory trends force, in his opinion, to reflect on the possible political approaches. "Although we want to look the other way, reality is stubborn and ends up imposing itself, but pragmatism must be reconciled with realism," added Perea.

The problem of minors

Outside this network are, for the moment, unaccompanied minors, a matter that, although it is the responsibility of the Autonomous Community, the Canary Islands have been demanding help for some time to reduce the pressure in their centers. Perea argued that
the State “is exploring a lasting solution” for its management, not only in relation to the co-responsible distribution between the rest of the country's territories, but also in the distribution of powers between ministries.

In this area, he has referred, on the other hand, to the efforts to unclog the "complex" mechanism of the
determination of age tests. According to the latest data from the regional Executive, 40% of minors are still pending the decree, despite the fact that the Government delegate, Anselmo Pestana, announced the incorporation of more troops to speed up the procedure.

In general terms, Perea acknowledged that a joint response is needed to comprehensively address the migration challenge. "The communities must understand that it can affect any territory," said the leader, appealing not only to the solidarity of the rest of the governments. “Sometimes that response does not bear immediate fruit, but they will end up bearing fruit,” he said, acknowledging that there has been involvement in several territories.

Dialogue, a key piece

The leader understands that it is necessary to favor a constant dialogue with the different administrations to move towards a solution, as has already been done with the authorities of the archipelago and its people. "The response of Canarian society has been decisive, and has also served to internalize what the image of the country is," argued Jesús Perea.

The Secretary of Migration also wanted to draw the attention of the international community as a key element to seek alternatives to irregular immigration and serve as support for the main receiving countries. "Work is being done on circular immigration, safe corridors and other mechanisms to regulate flows," Perea explained yesterday. This is still an aspiration, but it forces us to face a very complex reality, and it is clear that we cannot do it alone.

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