The local government and the Federation of Neighbourhood Associations of Cartagena (Favcac) strongly oppose the establishment of an immigrant reception camp in the old Naval Hospital. At a meeting held at the Town Hall, Mayoress Noelia Arroyo assured the group that she would convey the concerns of the residents to the Secretary of State for Migration. The chosen facility was deemed unfit for a camp, and they urged the government to find more suitable locations. The mayoress emphasized that the issue was not exclusive to Cartagena but was a national and European problem. She argued that concentrating more resources in Cartagena would exacerbate the existing challenges in dealing with immigrants arriving via the municipal coast.
The meeting allowed the residents to hear the Town Council’s position, which was expressed in a motion rejected by the PSOE but approved by the PP, MC, Vox, and Sí Cartagena. The motion expressed “total rejection” of the installation of a Temporary Stay Centre for Immigrants (CETI) and the concentration of more migratory resources in Cartagena, as it is already a gateway for immigrants entering through the coast.
Mayor Arroyo stated that she would discuss the residents’ concerns about the regime of stay for the migrants, the care system, security reinforcement, and the temporary nature of the stay with the Secretary of State. Despite the ministry’s assurance of a temporary arrangement, both the local government and residents expressed doubts. Arroyo planned to request increased police presence for the area in an upcoming Security Board discussion.
While emphasizing that they are not against the immigrants themselves, Favcac President Tomás Sánchez clarified their opposition to the imposition of the camp in Cartagena. The Confederation of Business Organisations of Cartagena (COEC) and the Chamber of Commerce also issued a joint statement expressing their rejection of the camp’s installation in the Naval Hospital.
Overall, the local government and residents of Cartagena are vehemently opposed to the immigrant reception camp in the old Naval Hospital. They argue that the chosen facility is unsuitable and call for alternative locations. They believe that concentrating more resources in Cartagena would worsen existing challenges with immigration. The Town Council and various organizations and associations have expressed their rejection of the camp’s installation and demanded greater guarantees regarding the temporary nature of the stay. The mayoress plans to convey these concerns to the Secretary of State and request increased police presence for the area.