For weeks, hundreds of undocumented migrants have been blocked in camps in the Canary Islands while waiting to make their way to Spain.
More than 400 immigrants, most of whom are Moroccans, spend their weeks in a humanitarian camp managed by the White Cross Foundation in Las Palmas, Grand Canary Island.
Many of the Moroccan migrants complain about their long stay in the Island without being able to make it to mainland Spain. Some of the migrants have started losing hope about ever achieving their goals of making it to mainland Spain or any other EU country.
“In here there are people who suffer in silence. They have left behind a family in Morocco and they expect them to send help. It’s a big problem, we haven’t come all this way to just eat and sleep, we want to complete the journey to Spain, ” one of the migrants told Canarias7.
Mohamed, a 22-year-old university student, also revealed that many of the immigrants are now thinking about going back to Morocco because they have been in the Island for more than four months and have not yet been transferred to Spain.
The young man said that he is educated, and that he left Morocco to work because in Morocco “there is no future.”
He emphasized, however, that they paid a lot of money to get there, and that neither he nor any of his companions have any intentions of going back to Morocco.
“I am afraid to go back; I never want to go back. I don’t want anything from Morocco,” he said.
A few days before, a group of Moroccan immigrants had joined in a protest to denounce Spain’s decision to transfer them back to Morocco.
Spanish newspaper OK Diario described the Moroccan immigrants’ living conditions in the Canary Islands as “inhumane.” Packed and abandoned in what looks like a military camp, many of the migrants “have not showered for days, feel cold at night, and have no light in the tents they sleep in,” the newspaper added.
Moroccan migrants’ suffering in the Canary Islands is also apparent in a recent viral video showing Spanish guards beating Moroccan minors in a detention center in Las Palmas.
The guards were wearing Spain’s Civil Guard uniforms and were filmed while beating Moroccan minors, who are believed to be irregular migrants, with batons.