Wednesday, December 01, 2004

FrontPage :: Spain Battles Illegal Muslim Immigration by Steve Harrigan

FrontPage :: Spain Battles Illegal Muslim Immigration by Steve Harrigan: "FoxNews | December 2, 2004

TANGIER, Morocco - The bodies are anonymous, rotting in the shallows of the Straits of Gibraltar. The fortunate ones are dragged out for a hasty burial. They are Africans trying to make it to Europe, betting their lives on a nine-mile ride, thousands losing that bet each year.

Spain used to be an open door for illegal immigrants. An estimated one-quarter of all smuggled immigrants into Europe came through the Southern coast of Spain, most setting off from Morocco.
The sticks and stones of frustrated border guards had little effect against a rising tide of human traffic.

But all that changed on March 11. Most of the terrorists who killed 190 people on commuter trains in Madrid were Moroccan. Suddenly, the immigrant problem was a security problem.

Under pressure at home and from other European nations, rubber batons at the border were replaced by speedboats but success, so far, is limited.

'The numbers are down here by 50 percent,' said Lt. David Oliva of the Spanish Border Guard. 'But the smugglers are just moving to other parts of the coast.'


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