Arjen Leerkes on Belgian radio
After the news broke out that migrants are trying to flee from Spain to countries such as Morocco and Algeria due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Belgian Radio 1 channel asked Prof. Arjen Leerkes to comment on this phenomenon. He explained that this was a one-time incident of Moroccan migrants who were trying to return from the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla, which are very close to Morocco. He said that it is ‘very unlikely’ that the COVID-19 pandemic was the reason behind the migrants’ decision to flee.. The migrants were probably either workers in the enclaves, or, more likely, irregular migrants who realised that they could not enter Europe due to the closure of the external borders. He also stated that usually, these migrants would return to their origin countries on regular flights and urged anyone who wants to return to their origin country to contact the International Organization for Migration (IOM). Finally, he advised governments to keep facilitating a safe return for migrants. Listen to the full (Dutch) interview on Radio 1’s website.