Over 100,000 migrants reached Europe from North Africa and the Middle East from January to June, the overwhelming majority coming by sea, according to the International Organization of Migration.
On the same day, 12 migrants arrived in waters off the Spanish territory of Ceuta in northern Morocco on board jet-skis, with one - a 28-year-old man from Guinea - drowning before he could be rescued, authorities said.
Spain's increase is in stark contrast to the United States 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.
"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, said.
Ceuta and Melilla are today the main entry points to Spain for illegal migrants, 90% of whom are men, mainly from sub-Sahara.
More than 11,000 migrants arrived in Spain in the first half of this year, compared to over 13,000 in all of 2016.
'If so, that's a big change'.
More than 8,000 migrants have arrived by sea in Spain, nearly as many as the 11,713 who have landed in Greece.
'Whereas in Spain, the strategy is smaller craft hoping to come in undetected, and undoubtedly some do'.
While migrants often camp in crowded tent ghettos upon arrival, a great many disperse throughout Western Europe over a period of time.
Both cities are the EU's only land borders with Africa.
A first attempt by about 1,000 people to cross with sticks and hand-made spears was foiled by police from the two countries.
The migrants were eventually rounded up and taken to a reception centre, where they can apply for asylum in Spain.
Migrants regularly try to climb the high double border fences, swim along the coast or hide in vehicles crossing the frontier.