Ceuta is a small Spanish city bordering Morocco in Africa. Despite being detached from the European continent and the Spanish mainland, it is officially part of both, which means accessing this city is entering Europe – without even having to cross the Mediterranean Sea.
This is a fact 187 African refugees were also aware of on Monday, as they decided to storm a secured border post in an attempt to reach Spanish soil. At 5 AM in the morning, almost 200 Africans managed to overrun the post despite the border patrol guards, which law enforcement onsite considered extraordinary. While in the past, immigrants had regularly managed to cross the border by climbing the 20-foot-tall border fence that protects the city, they had not stormed a guarded post in a long time. Four of the immigrants were injured in the endeavor.
Instead of sending the Africans back to where they came from after the blatantly illegal border crossing, the men were escorted to a reception center, where they were able to apply for asylum in the European Union. By storming the border post, the 187 men are now at least temporarily allowed to enter Spain.
Meanwhile, near Ceuta and close to this African-European border, there are additional tens of thousands of Africans and Syrians who are waiting for a chance to enter the European Union and live in Europe. They will certainly not be discouraged or scared of trying just the same thing for a free ticket to Spain.