Illegal migration into Europe has massively increased following a relative slowdown in 2020, according to reports.
Migration pressure is up substantially in virtually every region of the European frontier, according to the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, also known as Frontex.
“The number of illegal border crossings at Europe’s external borders in the first five months of 2021 reached over 47,100, 47% more than the total from a year ago when irregular migration dropped due to travel limitations linked to the outbreak of COVID,” the agency reported this week, citing “preliminary calculations.”
Numbers have been steadily increasing this year as weather improves across the continent, signaling a potentially explosive summer for illegal migration.
“In May, the number of illegal border crossings reached 10,500, more than double the figure from the same month of last year,” Frontex reports.
While migrant traffic roughly doubled in May in three sectors — Central and Western Mediterranean, along with the Western Balkans – it tripled in the Eastern Med in comparison to the same period in 2020.
The purported nationalities of illegal migrants arriving in each sector varies according to geographic proximity to Asia and Africa.
Frontex notes the general trends in its report as follows:
- Mostly Tunisians and Bangladeshis are arriving in the Central Mediterranean region.
- Mostly Algerians and Moroccans are arriving in the Western Mediterranean region.
- Mostly Syrians and Turks are arriving in the Eastern Mediterranean region.
- Mostly sub-Saharan Africans and Moroccans are arriving in European territories in or near Western Africa.
- Mostly Syrians and Afghans are arriving in the Western Balkans.
Frontex indicates preliminary figures are likely low, explaining that “final figures may be higher due to delayed reporting.”
Prior to the onset of the COVID crisis, asylum applications filed in the European Union had risen by 13 percent, marking the first increase since 2015.
An analysis conducted in 2020 by the European Court of Auditors found that fewer than 30 percent of migrants who illegally enter or stay in the European Union follow orders to return to their home country outside of Europe.
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