With routes via the Balkans closed due to fences and walls put up in Macedonia, Bulgaria, Croatia and Hungary, the route to Italy made difficult by the Libyan coastguard who burns migrant boats, there is of course only one road left for immigrants from Africa who want to reach the economically more interesting UK and the whole of Western Europe: go through Spain.
So far, the Guardia Civil (Spanish police) has arrested 1,250 migrants who tried to sneak into the different ferries, which means it has, only in the first nine months of this year, tripled versus the whole of 2016, where 436 tried to sneak into Britain.
Popular is the ferry via Bilbao to Portsmouth. Brittany Ferries, which operates the line, has had to hire additional security to stop immigrants trying to crawl directly onto the boats just before it sets off for the high seas.
A spokesman for Brittany Ferries said that most of those arrested are young Albanian males.
Some are also trying to cross via the Basque north of Spain as it is easier not to get noticed via that route than the French ports which are now heavily secured.
There are two weekly crossings between Portsmouth and Bilbao as well as different freight services operating the line. Further to that, container ships also set sail for the UK port of Poole from Bilbao.
Just in the first two weeks of September, 99 individuals were arrested by Brittany Ferries in Bilbao.
Brittany Ferries: 'Bilbao remains an attractive target for criminal gangs. In neighboring Santander, those who repeatedly target port facilities are sent to a detention center near Madrid before being deported. In Bilbao, a port infraction is treated as a civil misdemeanor and offenders are simply released to try again.'
Spanish Daily El Pais explained that due to the dismantling of Calais (France’s) migrant camp known as ‘the Jungle’, many more migrants were now trying to sneak into Britain via Spain.