Burdened islands seek help with immigrants

Aug. 26, 2006 at 5:10 PM

LAS PALMAS DE GRAN CANARIA, Spain, Aug. 26 (UPI) -- Officials in Spain's Canary Islands are seeking help with the care of more than 700 unaccompanied illegal-immigrant children who arrived in boats from Africa.

Local authorities are asking the rest of Spain and the European Union to help care for the children, the BBC reports.

More than 4,500 mainly African illegal immigrants landed on the Canary Islands this month -- nearly as much as normally arrive in a year.

All told, more than 18,000 illegal immigrants have arrived on the islands by boat so far this year.

Detention centers on the islands have a capacity for only about 5,500.

To cope with the overflow, the government has transferred thousands of immigrants to Spain's mainland, crowding Red Cross shelters in Madrid, the BBC said.

The Conservative Popular Party claims Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodríguez Zapatero is washing its hands of the immigration problem by sending most of the immigrants to regions administered by the opposition.

Like Us on Facebook for more stories from UPI.com  
Latest Headlines
Top Stories
'Serial stowaway' arrested again at Chicago's O'Hare, Midway airports
Maine man dead after shooting firework off head, police say
Greeks vote overwhelmingly to reject creditors' bailout
Two killed by police gunfire in 2 separate Central Texas shootings
Attackers throw acid on three Afghan girls for attending school