Recent trends in irregular maritime immigration to the Canary Islands
Dirk Godenau, Daniel Buraschi and Vicente Manuel Zapata Hernández
The recent intensification in irregular maritime migrations in the Atlantic route through the Canary Islands, which is employed to reach the European mainland from Africa, coincides in time with the presence of the coronavirus pandemic and incorporates some novelties involving a flow that has been present in the archipelago’s evolution for almost three decades. It also exhibits many similarities with the permanent manifestation of this influx, even though the scant planning and weak response initially implemented in an effort to comprehensively manage this migration has placed the phenomenon at the forefront of the current affairs and debate in the region. As a result, a social context of enormous uncertainty due to the health and economic crisis, the direct and almost real-time knowledge of the outcome of many crossings thanks to social media, together with the confusion sown by how this mobility is being managed, all raise the need to reconsider its analysis in order to ascertain its current characteristics and keys to its understanding.