Leslie Harkema at Marginalia Review:
This past summer, migrants from throughout Africa and elsewhere continued to make the journey to Ceuta and Melilla, two autonomous Spanish cities nestled in Morocco’s northern coast. As small parcels of European land on the African continent, these cities defy the assumption that the Mediterranean Sea serves as a natural barrier between distinct civilizations. They are sites of border crossing, with all of the charge that this term carries in the contemporary geopolitical climate. Ceuta and Melilla are gateways to Europe, and for that reason they are surrounded by tall fences and kept under surveillance—not only by military guards, but also by the Spanish press.
When tensions rise at these borders, as they did in July 2018, news coverage stirs anxieties about Spain’s ability to accommodate the influx of displaced people. As in the United States, some outlets use the word “invasion” to describe the flow of migrants into Spain, bolstering their rhetoric, at times, with a reference to a specific historical event.