More than 16,500 irregular entries have been made through Spain since January. The Basque Country is one of the main places of migrants’ attempts and has already seen several deaths.
Two migrants have already died crossing the Bidassoa, the river connecting Spain to France. Several migrants try at all costs to cross the border. “We stay there, we observe, and if there is an opportunity, we try to cross”, testifies an Ivorian migrant. Bus, train, boat, all options are to be considered to achieve their goal.
The strengthening of controls in Italy is the origin of a growing number of attempts by the Pyrénées-Atlantiques. The Interior Ministry lists 1,249 refoulement measures taken last August, i.e. 23% more than before. If the police presence has almost doubled since the fall of 2020, several police unions find the number of patrols insufficient, and ask for more resources.