100 immigrants that caught ferry from Gran Canaria are now stranded in Tenerife
Almost a hundred irregular immigrants have arrived by ferry from Gran Canaria to Tenerife on their own accord, have been stranded overnight in Santa Cruz as they don’t have passports to board a boat to Huelva in mainland Spain.
According to reports, almost 80 arrived at the port of Santa Cruz on a Fred Olsen ferry at 4pm yesterday afternoon, and tried to buy a ticket for the boat to the mainland which leaves at 1.30am tonight, but only a few have a valid passport which is a requirement for non-EU citizens entering mainland Europe.
At 8.30pm another 20 people of Maghrebi nationality arrived at the port from Gran Canaria for the same reason, and they too encountered the same situation. A group of twelve that had arrived earlier, decided at this point to get the ferry back to Gran Canaria as they could see there was no chance of boarding the boat to Huelva.
After finding out about the situation, the mayor of Santa Cruz, José Manuel Bermúdez, posted online: "What is happening now with these people? If the Government of the Canary Islands or the Government Delegation do not look for accommodation or allow these people to take the boat to Huelva, they will be sleeping on the streets in Santa Cruz."
At this point, the Red Cross intervened and gave the group the choice of sleeping at the dock in the open, or to be transferred to a hotel in the South of the island by bus, whilst a solution is sought by the authorities, who have confirmed that these groups made this trip on their own accord and it wasn’t an organised transfer by the authorities.
The Red Cross also reported that many of the group had left the dock of Arguineguin to get the ferry, and others had left tourist accommodation that they were being temporarily housed in. They also said that ultimately they are being told that the immigrants don’t want to be in the Canary Islands their aim is to get to mainland Europe where they already have family members.
According to a press statement, the authorities at the scene at the port are trying to find a solution this morning, as the boat that is going to Huelva is setting sail tonight at 1.30am, but lacking the correct documentation, they cannot embark to Andalusia. A resolution is still being sought.