US President Donald Trump reportedly told Spanish Foreign Minister Joseph Borrel that Spain should build a wall across the Sahara to block black migrants from traveling to Europe.
“You need to build a wall around the Sahara,” Trump said, according to Borrell. The Minister made the remarks in a speech on Tuesday September 18, during a lunch at Club Siglo XXI in Madrid, Spain.
Migration from Black Africa to Europe has increased over the past decades with growing unemployment and insecurity in some parts of the region. More than 3,100 black migrants died in the Mediterranean in 2017 alone.
European states such as Spain, Italy, and France, once colonial states that exploited the countries where these migrants came from, have introduced harsh measures to address them.
The Italian Five Star Movement, which heads the current coalition government, has blocked migrant boats from docking in Italian ports.
Trump has made anti-migration and race the central part of his policies social policies.
The Sahara desert extends for nearly 3,000 miles across the African continent. Around a dozen countries lie wholly or in part within the Sahara, including Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Egypt, Algeria, Chad and Niger. Spain is not one of them, so any wall would have to be built entirely on other nations’ land, according to CNN.