A journey not without risk
The dangers of the journey or the possibility of being discovered and deported do not seem to discourage those who wish to start a better life on the Old Continent. In fact, the end of the second decade and the beginning of the third decade of the 21st century saw an uptick of this phenomenon, raising doubts about the effectiveness of the migration measures that Morocco and Spain agreed on.
However, some immigrants might find the destination of their dangerous journey is worse than they anticipated. When an illegal entry is detected, immigrants are expected at the border and sometimes returned immediately after their arrival, with large numbers being admitted to specialized detention centers. Many are then returned or deported, but some are released in the country, which leads in most cases to years of battling the legal system to obtain a residence permit.
MENA: The dilemma of unaccompanied minors
Spain is also experiencing an increasing number of arrivals of undocumented and unaccompanied minors (Menores Extranjeros No Acompañados in Spanish or MENA). Most of these underage immigrants turn up at the Spanish coasts in boats, and they are predominantly from Morocco, the Republic of Guinea or Algeria. When detected, most of them will be taken to MENA centers or allocated in foster families, but there are also many reported cases of minors who break out of their new homes and fall prey to crime, labor exploitation or even human trafficking.