Illegal immigration in Europe, referred to as “migration” in that open borders region, is a booming business for smugglers. In Spain, there has been a tripling in the number of undocumented migrants entering the country by sea in 2017 compared to the same period in 2016, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM). Spain, with 8,385 migrants - largely male Muslims - from West Africa coming ashore, is now giving serious competition to Greece, where another 11,713 migrants have reached Western Europe through its borders so far this year compared to 13,246 in all of last year.

Spain's migrant centers overwhelmed

While migrants often camp in crowded tent ghettos upon arrival, a great many disperse throughout Western Europe over a period of time. Spain’s increase is in stark contrast to the US where President Trump’s’ administration has slowed illegal border crossings by more than 72 percent compared to 2016, according to a recent Washington Times article. As migration proliferates across Europe, so have the incidents of terrorism, which is creating a backlash against politicians in the euro zone.

Officials with IOM say the increase of migration to Spain has likely associated the safety and ease of making it to shore successfully and penetrating borders with the least resistance.

"We assume that some of the change is due to the fact that the route [to Spain] is considered a safe route up to the coast through Morocco," Joel Millman, a senior IOM spokesman, was quoted by AFP news agency as saying.

Spain slated to overtake Greece

Millman says that it is probable that Spain will take the lead from Greece for having received the most migrants by the end of 2017.

Still, those numbers pale in comparison to Italy which has received more than 96,000 migrants so far this year. The migrants in Spain most often have no identification and are usually young males from Morocco, Senegal, Gambia, Guinea, Ivory Coast and a handful of other West African countries, according to quotes by police. Despite Spain's increase, migration across Europe is down overall when juxtaposed with last year’s numbers.

Resources insufficient for surge

While some slip away, most migrants are taken to reception centers where they are able to apply for asylum in Spain before being taken to crowded migrant villages or camps. However, according to reports, the charity Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) says Spain's reception centers are overwhelmed and do not provide minimally adequate shelter, healthcare, clothing, and subsistence for "desperate new arrivals".