In efforts to minimize immigration, Spain’s anti-immigrant Vox party hopes to erect an “insurmountable wall” around the Spanish enclaves bordering Morocco.
By Carolina McCaber
Rabat – In the December regional elections, Spain’s Vox party won parliamentary seats in Andalusia for the first time. The party caters to Spain’s far-right through anti-immigrant, nationalist, and anti-feminist policies.
The party advocates for increased border security and hopes to add a large wall to the already existing barriers surrounding the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla. Some immigrants crossing from Morocco to Spain try to enter the Spanish enclaves by scaling the fences that mark the border.
Spain relies on the efforts of Moroccan authorities to stop migrants from traveling to Spain either through Ceuta and Melilla or crossing the Strait of Gibraltar. However, the number of migrants arriving to Spain continues to increase. According to the International Organization for Migration, in 2017, the number of migrants reaching Spain almost tripled to nearly 22,000 and the number of drownings off the coast of Spain almost doubled.
Spain received the most migrants by sea of all European countries in 2018. Most of the migrants landed in Spain’s southern region of Andalusia. The increased number of migrant arrivals in the region led to greater anti-immigrant sentiment.
‘100 measures to keep Spain alive’
In October, the Vox party released its “100 measures to keep Spain alive,” which in part rejected immigration. Vox advocates for the deportation of migrants who entered Spain illegally, permanent entry bans, and a policy which conditions aid to other countries on their acceptance of repatriated immigrants with criminal records.
In addition to the policy changes, the party prioritizes a wall along the borders of the Spanish exclaves and wishes to strengthen Spanish armed forces.
The party wants country immigration quotas favoring nationalities who speak Spanish and share “significant cultural and friendship ties with Spain.” Additionally, Vox plans to control the flow of immigration depending on economic needs and the adaptability and integration of new arrivals. For immigrants who enter Spain illegally, Vox wants them to “be permanently ineligible for legal status, and thus ineligible for any form of state aid.”
In addition to an anti-immigrant rhetoric, the party is against Islamic fundamentalism. Vox hopes to “shut down fundamentalist mosques” and to “arrest and deport extremist imams.” The party also calls for Spain to return to centralized political control. The desired change in political control would revoke the administrative autonomy of the country’s 17 regions.
Citing weak leadership in the Popular party, some supporters have found the competitive leadership they desire in Vox’s leader, Santiago Abascal. Yet, some analysts believe Vox’s anti-immigrant rhetoric may not resonate with voters from outside the region of Andalusia, where Vox gained its parliamentary seats.