Illegal migration into the European Union rose significantly in January over the same period last year, according to new data released by Frontex.
Some 13,160 illegal crossings were detected at the European Union's external borders during the first month of 2022, up 78% from January of 2021.
"The number of arrivals continues to be above pre-pandemic levels as demonstrated by the data from 2021," Frontex says.
The Western Balkans saw the biggest increase in illegal migration as 5,826 "arrivals" were reported, an increase of 148% from last year.
The route was particularly popular with migrants from Syria, Afghanistan, and Turkey.
The Central Mediterranean region also saw a significant spike of 107% with two-thirds of migrants coming via Libya despite hailing from countries across Africa and Asia.
"At the same time, the number of migrants arriving in Cyprus continued to grow," Frontex reports.
"In the first month of 2022, there were 850 detections, 48% higher than last year. The most represented nationalities were nationals of Congo (Kinshasa), Syria and Nigeria."
Notably, pressure on the Eastern Land Border decreased sharply (75%) in the wake of an explosive crisis in 2021 that unfolded after Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko threatened to allow aliens and drugs to flood Europe amid fraying diplomatic ties with the E.U.
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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(PHOTO: Antonio Sempere/Europa Press via Getty Images)