So, while the U.S. gears up to build (and protect with gazillions of guards) a massive fence on it’s southern border, Spain is still having difficulties with it’s comparatively teensy weensy borders around its two enclaves on the African mainland, the cities of Ceuta and Melilla.

From the NYTimes:

A group of 60-70 Africans tried to force their way past border guards into a Spanish enclave on the North African coast on Sunday, seeking to start new lives there as immigrants, the Spanish government said.

Most of the would-be migrants were pushed back as they tried to rush into Melilla, the Spanish government’s office there said.

Several border guards were slightly injured, it said, adding that a search was going on for remaining fugitives.

Media reported that police rounded up many of the would-be immigrants shortly after they had fought their way with sticks and stones past Moroccan and Spanish police guarding the walled frontier in the early hours of Sunday.

The border at Melilla is heavily policed. In 2006, three Africans were killed when a group stormed the razor wire fence separating the small city from Morocca[sic].

Sigh. A friend of mine, Elizabeth Gorman,  went last year to visit the detention centers in Ceuta and Melilla and wrote an article for the Madrid English-language monthly In Madrid (pdf of issue here, its page 14). In it she mentions the differing stories of the border guards who swear there have been no attempts to cross the borders there, and aid workers who aren’t so sure. She mentioned to me personally that the guards were quite smug and arrogant about the claim, so the Times article seems to reinforce the idea that they were a bit overconfident in their assumption that the problem had been solved, and that all those pesky immigrants had given up.

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