Illegal migration into the European Union is up nearly 70% so far this year, according to new data released by Frontex.
Approximately 160,000 illegal border crossings were detected during the first 10 months of 2021, a substantial spike from the previous year and a 45% increase over 2019 numbers.
Nearly 22,800 illegal entries were recorded during the month of October, up 30% from the same period in 2020 and 18% in 2019.
"The most significant increase was reported on the Eastern, Western Balkan and Central Mediterranean routes and in Cyprus," the agency explained in a new report.
Penetrations on the Eastern frontier have skyrocketed by nearly 1,500% this year as thousands of migrants pour through Belarus and into neighboring E.U. member states, while thousands more have been repelled by border forces in Poland, Lithuania, and Latvia.
The Western African route, which applies primarily to Spain's Canary Islands, has seen a 1,020% increase of illegal crossings over 2019.
"Between January and October, European authorities reported 55,000 illegal border crossings on the Central Mediterranean route. In October alone, 6,240 illegal crossings were reported, 85% more than in the previous year under COVID-related restrictions and 186% more than in 2019," Frontex says.
The vast majority of all illegal migrants encountered came from Africa and the Middle East.
In mid-2020, Europol predicted a flood of migration from third world countries heavily affected by global lockdowns and economic deceleration.
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