The Spanish Ministry of Interior has apparently suppressed migration data for a key period in 2018.
Spain’s center-right People’s Party (PP) has asked that Fernando Grande-Marlaska, the current Minister of Interior explain the removal of migration data pertaining for the months of May, June, and August of 2018, from the Ministry’s website.
The request, which was made at the nation’s parliament, responds to the apparent disappearance of data concerning the entry of illegal migrants into Spain during the transitional months between PM Mariano Rajoy’s tenure and that of the current PM Pedro Sánchez.
The number of immigrants for this period, which the Ministry of Interior seems to have suppressed, has been reported as 8,628.
The data, which was collected in biweekly reports, is politically salient, as it would reflect the effect of Sánchez’s early decision to take in migrants from the Aquarius vessel, whose operations back in 2018 contributed to a pattern that interferes with coastguards and encourages human traffickers.
The latter endanger the lives of would-be migrants by leaving them in the Mediterranean, assuming rescue ships will not only pick them up but take them the rest of the way to Europe, rather than sending them back to North African coasts. The swell in migration flows which Sánchez and the Aquarius thereby encouraged results in more (and more dangerous) irregular crossings.