Spanish bishops denounce exploitation of migrants amid crisis

Spanish bishops denounce exploitation of migrants amid crisis A Moroccan boy cries as he swims using bottles as a float, near the fence between the Spanish-Moroccan border, after thousands of migrants swam across the border, in Ceuta, Spain, May 19, 2021. Photo: CNS

The Spanish bishops’ conference expressed concern that migrants were being used to exert political pressure after a sudden influx of migrants in the Spanish territories of Ceuta and Melilla increased tensions between Spain and Morocco.

In a statement released May 18, Auxiliary Bishop José Cobo of Madrid, head of the conference’s migration department, and Dominican Fr Xabier Gómez, the departments director, warned of the exploitation of migrants following a diplomatic row between the two countries.

“Appealing to the supreme value of life and human dignity, remember that the despair and impoverishment of many families and minors cannot and must not be used by any state to exploit the legitimate aspirations of these people for political purposes,” the statement read.

Spanish authorities were caught off guard May 17 when an estimated 8,000 migrants – including more than 1,500 unaccompanied minors – entered Ceuta, a Spanish enclave bordering Morocco.