UN warns Spain over migrant deportations

Sub-Saharans Africans attempting to climb the border fence between the Morocco and the Spanish enclave of Melilla.

The United Nations on Tuesday warned Spain over planned changes to legislation allowing the country to instantly deport migrants who clamber border fences into its north African territories, saying Madrid could fall foul of international law.

“UNHCR is concerned over a proposal by Spain to legalize automatic returns of people trying to cross border fences into its enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla,” said the UN refugee agency’s spokesman William Spindler.

Spindler told reporters that UNHCR understood the “complexity” of border management in the two enclaves, which are tucked into Morocco’s Mediterranean coast.

But blanket, on the spot deportations could fall foul of the 1951 Refugee Convention, an international treaty protecting people who flee their homelands, he said…