The Canary Islands begin the process for the mandatory distribution of migrant minors

The Canary Islands begin the process for the mandatory distribution of migrant minors

The Government and Parliament of the Canary Islands are preparing to start the process this week to try to change the law by law. guardianship and custody of migrant minorsso that there is a mandatory distribution between all autonomous communities with objective criteria, regardless of the territory through which they enter the country.

The agenda of the Government Council of the Canary Islands, which meets this Monday, includes a communication that will be sent to the regional Parliament so that the legislative chamber supports the proposed legal change, an initiative that the Canary Islands intends for the central Government to assume so that the Council of Ministers approves by decree law a change in the Civil Code.

The autonomous community of the Canary Islands currently protects more than 5,500 children and adolescents arrived on the coasts of the islands without the company of adults, who are housed in 72 facilities, many of them opened quickly due to the incessant arrival of canoes in recent months, especially starting in the last quarter of 2023.

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The Government of the Canary Islands has even been forced to ask the Prosecutor’s Office for permission to provisionally house 140 minors in the reception center for adult migrants of Las Raíces, in La Laguna.

Already last October, the Canary Islands requested the support of the State and the autonomous communities. Then, the Canary Islands supervised some 3,300 minors and the agreement at the Sectoral Conference on Childhood and Adolescence was to distribute 347 of them among the rest of the autonomous communities.

Four months later, there are 5,500 minors on the islands and none of the 347 mentioned at the time have yet been welcomed in other communities, in the absence of the signing of bilateral agreements, guarantees of financing from the State and other procedures.

For now, only four communities have shown their willingness to welcome minors fruit of that agreement, according to the Government of the Canary Islands: Madrid, with 34; Galicia, with 28; Cantabria, with 26; and Aragón, with 24.

That is why the conclusion of almost the entire parliamentary arc is that since the “voluntary solidarity” does not worklegislation must be changed so that there is “mandatory solidarity”, that is, a distribution between communities based on objective parameters, such as population.

Ten million

Furthermore, it is proposed that it should be the State that assumes the cost of caring for these foreign children and adolescents, which in the case of the Canary Islands currently represents about ten million euros per month.

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But given that the guardianship of minors corresponds to the autonomous communities, this would require legal changes that the legal services of the Government of the Canary Islands have examined.

In the communication that the Government Council of the Canary Islands plans to address this Monday for submission to the regional Parliament, four possible legal modifications will be proposed to the Government of Spain and Congress so that the central Executive can assume the guardianship of migrant minors to its distribution among all the autonomous communities.

The Government of the Canary Islands considers that the fastest alternative would be modify article 172 of the Civil Codewhich regulates the custody and shelter of minors, through a decree law approved by the Council of Ministers that is then validated by the Congress of Deputies.

The Parliament of the Canary Islands is also considering inviting the islands to the Board of Spokespersons of the Congress of Deputies.

Six of the seven parliamentary groups present in the Regional Chamber support this immigration pact to refer children and adolescents, all except Vox, which defends a “immediate repatriation” of the minors.


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