Since December 2019, six groups of Moroccan migrants have disembarked in the Algarve, comprising a total of 95 adults and two minors. Expresso asked Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras (SEF) to provide updated statistics regarding these individuals.
SEF confirmed that of the 97 migrants, 66 presented requests for international protection, 57 of which were declared unfounded. The other requests were accepted, authorizing nine migrants — including both minors — to remain in Portugal.
Expresso requested these numbers in response to recent comments by politician André Ventura, who said that Portugal “cannot accept all the Moroccans who arrive by boat.” Ventura has brought up the issue of migration from Morocco several times in debates and interviews, according to Expresso.
Atlas previously reported on the most recent group of migrants that arrived on October 1, 17 of whom escaped the facility where they were being held. Sixteen of them were later located and faced expulsion.
The recent influx of arrivals from Morocco has prompted SEF to investigate the possibility of a new migration route between the two countries. But in December, Portugal’s Secretary of State for Integration and Migration said that the arrivals do not point to a new migration route.
Immigration is a controversial topic in Portugal at the moment. The country has recently received praise for its policies and high marks in integration, despite the precarious situation of many immigrants and increased public scrutiny of SEF’s practices.
Ventura is currently running for president of Portugal, as Atlas reported last week — very much on an anti-immigration platform.