The Bishops’ Conference of Spain has reacted to the deaths of several Africans who attempted to illegally cross the border into the city of Ceuta, located on the northern tip of Africa in the Spanish-controlled territory, saying, "Nothing can justify killing those who seek to cross a border."
Released by the Bishops’ Committee on Immigration, the statement calls for "legitimate and proportionate" measures to prevent illegal entry through the Spanish-Moroccan border.
The bishops added that preventing illegal immigration even through legitimate means does not help immigrants solve their problems. The grave problems that lead to mass migrations, they said, "are generally of an economic nature and have their roots in the unjust distribution of wealth, development and well-being." "The solutions, which are never easy, must begin with the eradication of the causes," the bishops maintained, making a call as well to the international community for greater generosity and cooperation.
"As long as the solution does not address these problems at their roots, there will continue to be migratory movements, sometimes controlled, sometimes spontaneous, and sometimes born of desperation, as in the latest attempts, with tragic results," the bishops warned.
The Bishops’ Committee on Immigration offered its support and solidarity to those in need as well as their prayers for those killed and their families.
The bishops maintained that the recent deaths aggravate what is already a "desperate situation for thousands of African immigrants," who are attempting to illegally enter the Spanish cities of Ceuta and Melilla in northern Africa.