Spanish authorities have released 227 immigrants who arrived at their island coast with no place for them to go as cops struggle to watch over two thousand migrants who arrived on their beaches.
The new development in the latest migrant crisis occurred in the port town of Arguineguin located in the Gran Canaria island which is part of the Spanish autonomous community of the Canary Islands yesterday (Tuesday).
The port is also where over 2,000 migrants are being kept after they arrived at several beaches in the autonomous community over a few days from Friday 6th to Tuesday 10th November.
There were also reports of police being overwhelmed by the number of people arriving in small boats and canoes which hadn’t been seen since 2006.
Police union JUPOL Spokesperson Pablo Perez issued a statement saying a parking lot from a police station had to be repurposed as an area where some could sleep as they do not have the means to care for such a large number.
He said: “We believe it is absolutely necessary [to get] both material and humanitarian means not only for the safety of our colleagues but also for the safety of the immigrants.
“From JUPOL, we demand, once more, the Directorate General of the Police and the Minister of the Interior to take measures to solve the immigration crisis we are currently seeing.”
According to local sources, the 227 people that were released were removed after they had spent 72 hours or more at a detention centre and met all the conditions that allowed their release.
However, Minister of the Interior Fernando Grande-Marlaska has asked for the incident to be investigated. It is unclear if any legal action will be taken against the people behind the decision.
Grande-Marlaska has also come under criticism for his dealing of the current wave of immigrants that have been landing on the Spanish beaches over the past few weeks.
Local media report some of the people that were released were initially attended by some NGOs and locals who lent them their phones to make calls to their families, and others were helped by members of the Red Cross.
There were a reported 139 of them who were taken to hotels shortly after their release however it is unclear if they are still there or where the remaining people stayed.
About 180 of them were taken to the Government Delegation in the city of Las Palmas by chartered buses where they hope to find a solution as to where they can stay while the rest of the 227 people were able to contact family members who helped find a place for them.
The Canary Islands are home to 25,589 British ex-pats, according to a 2019 study by the National Institute of Statistics (INE) and consists of eight main islands known for natural beauty and volcanic landscape.