The initiative, which will begin in April, is intended to build on the success of a 22-year-old circular migration program with Morocco, in which 15,000 seasonal workers are brought annually to work in Spain’s agricultural industry before returning home for a short period of time.
This information is courtesy of a report released by an American news agency. Reuters.
The report notes that Spain implements circular migration programs to reduce illegal immigration and address labor shortages in its essential agricultural industry.
The deaths of at least 65 people off the coast of Italy on Sunday drew attention to the dangers illegal migrants face as they travel to Europe.
A test initiative with Honduras hired 250 employees in 2022, ahead of the Senegal proposal. 415 workers from Honduras and 102 from Ecuador came to harvest the fruit this year; Each stayed for an average of five months. Spain has struggled for years with illegal immigration from Senegal.
In exchange for aid and promises to admit legal workers, EU border police agreed in 2006 to increase surveillance of boats leaving Dakar. This ended the entry of more than 30,000 Senegalese immigrants to the Canary Islands.
The program has had some growing pains. In 2019, only 18 of the 47 Senegalese employees in the failed test program returned to their country.
According to Carmen González Enrquez, a senior analyst at the think tank Elcano Royal Institute, the success of the Moroccan program was partly attributed to the decision to prioritize women with women as the primary participants, which they attributed back home.
The Senegalese government is responsible for selecting the staff, according to Spain’s immigration ministry, which did not provide any information on how the selection criteria have been modified to operate this time around. All 17 Senegalese participating in the pilot program went home in 2022.