The Atlantic route (Canary Islands) has received 23.000 migrants in the last year. The same year that the European Commission passed the New Pact on Migration and Asylum. According to this pact, newcomers should remain confined in centres until they are categorized as “irregular migrants” or “legitimate asylum seekers”. The aim of this paper is to question this institutional strategy of contention, screening and refusal by analysing both national and EU law, with special attention to the freedom of movement. I will combine legal and jurisprudential materials together with field work empirical data to argue that these Islands are becoming a de facto laboratory of a new version of the “hotspot approach”.