Dozens of illegal African immigrants sleeping rough in Spain

Groups of Algerian immigrants are spending the harsh winter in Spain sleeping rough and taking shelter in squalid camps due to immigrant centres being overcrowded.

According to media reports, around 84 Algerians, Moroccans and Africans, who arrived in southern Spain’s Andalusia after illegally entering the country since the year, are spending their nights in the streets, underground stations or under bridges in low wintery temperatures. Many are turned away from social centres and youth dorms for illegal immigrants with priority given to families.

Human rights organisations have called on the Spanish government to take better care of immigrants and migrants who are granted visas to stay on Spanish soil. Many NGOs are trying to help by providing warm meals and clothing but often cannot find them shelters.

Read: 209 migrants storm Morocco-Spain border

Rights groups fear more illegal immigrants will enter Spain in the coming weeks with many refugee centres already unable to cope with the numbers. An Algerian immigrant died in the Arsidona prison last year whilst in detention raising questions surrounding the ill treatment of immigrants.

The number of illegal immigrants coming to Spain is expected to increase in 2018, according to the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex). From January to 21 December 2017, over 21,468 people reached Spanish waters or coasts risking their lives in fragile boats after paying smugglers. The numbers are almost three times more than the 6,046 figure that was recorded in 2016.