Illegal migration into Europe has surged to the highest levels since the 2016 migration crisis, according to new data released by Frontex.
Nearly every route monitored by the European Union's border security agency saw major increases in migrant traffic during the first three months of 2022.
Incredibly, refugees fleeing Ukraine through border checkpoints were excluded from the data, indicating migration flows could be some of the most chaotic Europe has seen in decades.
"The first quarter of this year was the busiest in terms of illegal border crossings at the EU’s external borders since the migratory crisis in 2016," Frontex explained in a press release last week.
"Preliminary calculations by Frontex show that more than 40,300 illegal crossings were detected between January and March of 2022, 57% more than a year ago."
Over 11,600 migrants illegally crossed the E.U.'s external borders in March alone, up 29% from the same period in 2021.
"The Eastern Mediterranean route saw the number of arrivals of irregular migrants more than doubled in the January-March period to more than 7,000.The significant increase was driven by the detections of illegal border crossings in Cyprus, which rose three-fold to over 5,100 (on 7,005 detections for all Eastern Med route)," Frontex says.
The Western Balkan route also saw a triple-digit increase with over 18,300 illegal crossings, accounting for nearly half of all migrant traffic for the quarter.
Additionally, migrants are passing through E.U. territory and exiting towards the United Kingdom in record numbers.
"The number of irregular migrants seeking to cross the Channel towards the UK so far this year nearly tripled from a year ago to more than nearly 8 900, half of them were prevented of departure and half were rescued by British authorities," Frontex reports.
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: BERTRAND GUAY/AFP via Getty Images)