World In Spain, migrant-designed trainers kick against system
Migrant encounters rises above 180K in May as border crisis continues
More than 180,000 migrants were encountered attempting to get into the U.S. via the southern border in May alone, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced Wednesday -- the latest sign of a continued and unrelenting crisis at the southern border. CBP said that 180,034 migrants were encountered along the border, a slight increase over the 178,000 encountered in April and 172,000 were encountered in March – all representing the highest numbers in years. March saw a big increase from the 100,000 migrants encountered in February.
When he left Senegal, risking his life to make the dangerous boat trip to Spain's Canary Islands, Lamine Sarr never thought he'd end up selling fake goods on the streets of Barcelona.
Known as "manteros" after the blanket on which they lay their wares, these street sellers live a precarious life, always on the lookout for the police.
So Sarr decided to do something different: he helped set up the Barcelona Street Vendors Union, which has just launched its own brand of trainers in the hope of "changing the rules of the game".
Biden should end Europe trip to deal with border after new numbers show continuing crisis, Arizona AG says
Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich is asking President Biden to return from his trip to Europe and address the massive migrant surge on the southern border after May numbers from Border Patrol indicate the number of migrants coming to the U.S. is much higher than it's been in years."[Y]our administration revealed Border Patrol Agents along our Southwest border encountered more than 180,000 migrants in May alone," Brnovich said in a Thursday letter to the president. "Since the start of this fiscal year, nearly one million migrants have been apprehended, and we still have several months left.
"As we were always selling counterfeit products, it gave us the desire to create a brand with our own designs and our own clothes," explains Sarr, 38, inside the union's shop in Barcelona's Raval neighbourhood.
And the name they've given the trainers is "Ande Dem", which means "walking together" in Wolof, the most widely-spoken language in Senegal.
Behind the project is Top Manta, a clothing company set up in 2017 by the union, which is mostly made up of sub-Saharan Africans.
"When we first created the brand, we thought about trainers. We thought it would be easy but we didn't have the means," Sarr told AFP.
Mexico's López Obrador says he called Harris 'president' after meetings on migration
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said this week that in-person meetings on the migration crisis with Vice President Kamala Harris went so well that he called her “president.”"It's a completely new phase," López Obrador said during a news conference about the meetings on Wednesday, according to Reuters. "It was such a good meeting that I called her 'president.
And what better way to kick against the system than by giving those who are known for selling fakes on the streets of Barcelona their very own brand of shoes, made locally in Spain and Portugal.
The project has been two years in the making, with the manteros working with two local artists to create trainers made from sustainable, vegan-friendly materials that that are produced in small local workshops rather than mass-produced.
With a robust sole, they come in black or tan with a strip of colours "reflecting Africa" and the Top Manta logo: a blanket, that also represents "waves" of the dangerous sea crossing many brave to reach Spain.
Launched earlier this month with a thought-provoking ad on Instagram where the collective has 63,000 followers, the trainers retail at 115 euros.
Spain 0-0 Sweden: Luis Enrique's team settle for goalless draw
PETE JENSON IN SPAIN: Alvaro Morata missed good chances either side of half time and with unforgiving home supporters jeering him he was taken off with 25 minutes left. The former Chelsea striker carried the can for Spain's failure to finish moves and make the most of their domination of possession but it was Olsen's night with a string of superb saves including an injury time block to deny substitute Gerard Moreno.
"Life is not like a trainer advert. We know the race is full of traps," says a woman's voice over footage of police racing after a migrant and wrestling him to the ground.
"It's not about just doing it, it's about doing it right," she says, in a slogan with a clear spin on Nike's Just Do It campaign.
- Insurmountable red tape -
Sarr says it is impossible to work as a street seller and not have problems with the law.
For the union, the main aim is to get the manteros off the street where many end up no thanks to Spain's immigration laws.
In order to get residency papers, the law requires non-EU citizens to prove they have been in Spain for three years, to show a one-year work contract, have a clean criminal record and more.
"How can you be in a place for three years without doing anything? I couldn't believe it," said Sarr who didn't tell his family in rural Senegal that he was leaving for Europe.
Following a week-long sea crossing, he arrived on the island of Fuerteventura in 2006, eventually making his way to Barcelona.
3 dead, 5 missing as migrant boat sinks off Canary Isles
At least three people died, including a woman believed to be pregnant, and another five were missing after a migrant boat overturned off Lanzarote in the Canary Islands, rescuers said Friday. The vessel was carrying 49 people when it hit a rocky area just off the island's northern shores, with rescuers pulling 41 people to safety, emergency services said. "Three people died, among them two women, one of whom we believe was pregnant," EnriqueThe vessel was carrying 49 people when it hit a rocky area just off the island's northern shores, with rescuers pulling 41 people to safety, emergency services said.
But it was only two years ago that he managed to leave his life as a mantero after the union helped him to obtain his papers, as it has done around 120 others.
Today there are around 100 street sellers working in Barcelona, according to City Hall figures.
It was the disappearance of tourists as a result of the pandemic that put an end to Oumy Manga's five years working as a hawker on the streets.
Wearing a colourful turban that matches her dress, this 32-year-old is focused on making a t-shirt at the Top Manta workshop where African tunes mingle with the rattle of sewing machines.
She is currently finishing a course in dressmaking as well as learning Spanish and Catalan.
"I don't like selling, that's why we're here: learning things so we don't go back on the streets," says Manga from Senegal, who sewed masks and other protective gear at the start of the pandemic.
- 'An unrealistic law' -
Some 25 people work in this basement workshop which they acquired with help from City Hall which has backed several of the union's initiatives.
"The underlying problem comes from migrant influxes and a law on foreigners that is unrealistic," says Alvaro Porro, who is responsible for head of commissioner for the Social Economy at Barcelona City Council.
"In the end, it's the cities who have to cope with the situation no thanks to a law that we cannot change."
If she had known what was awaiting her, Manga says she wouldn't have left her homeland.
"It's very complicated, being here five years without papers or work."
Still without papers, she's hoping things might change given her new-found ally, the sewing machine.
"I'd like to carry on sewing, that's my profession," she says, dreaming of one day designing her own collection.
For now, it seems Top Manta has a future: so far it's sold all of its first batch of 400 pairs of trainers and is now preparing to order another.
House Republicans warn Biden administration against 'disastrous' move to end Title 42 migrant expulsions .
FIRST ON FOX: More than a dozen House Republicans on Friday warned the Biden administration against ending Title 42, a Trump-era policy that allows the rapid expulsion of migrants at the border due to public health concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic — they said that such a move would be "disastrous.""Ending Title 42 would be nothing short of disastrous and further fuel the influx of migrants flooding our border; we will see the border crisis reach an irreversible climax," the letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra, led by Rep. Byron Donalds, R-Fla., and signed by 13 other Republicans, says.