Italy Saw Nearly 50k Migrant Arrivals This Year, Up 128%

TOPSHOT - Migrants wait to be rescued as they drift in the Mediterranean Sea some 20 nauti

Italy’s Interior Ministry has revealed that from August 1st, 2020, to July 31st of this year, 49,280 arrived illegally in the country.

The report said that the 49,280 figure of arrivals coming to Italy was 128 per cent more than the previous period, which saw 21,616 illegals arrive between August 2019 to the start of August 2020.

Among those who arrived between 2020 and 2021 were 7,843 unaccompanied foreign minors, up 155.2 per cent from the prior year. Authorities also positively identified 147 people smugglers, up 25.6 per cent, Italian newspaper Il Giornale reports.

The vast majority of migrants, 82.6 per cent, have arrived in so-called autonomous landings, while arrivals from migrant taxi NGOs decreased from 24.4 per cent from the summer of 2019 to the summer of 2020 to 17.4 per cent from 2020 to 2021.

Nearly half of the 49,280 migrants, 45.3 per cent, departed from Libya, while 35.9 per cent came from Tunisia, and 13.7 per cent from Turkey.

In terms of national origin, Tunisians made up 28.7 per cent, followed by Bangladeshis at 12.2 per cent, and migrants from Côte d’Ivoire at 6.7 per cent.

The island of Lampedusa continues to be the main hotspot for migrant landings, with 600 migrants arriving within a 72-hour period just days ago.

The number of migrant boats arriving has become so numerous that Lampedusa mayor Totò Martello has called on the national government to help move them, saying they pose a risk to navigating the waters around the island and could cause environmental damage.

Over the weekend, Undersecretary of the Interior Nicola Molteni, a member of Matteo Salvini’s League, visited the island and called it the “most critical landing centre in Italy and Europe”.

Since Salvini, known for his anti-mass migration policies, departed as interior minister in 2019, illegal migration has increased 673 per cent under current Interior Minister Luciana Lamorgese, who has served under former Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and current Prime Minister Mario Draghi.

In 2020, deportations were also few and far between, with only one in ten illegals actually being deported from Italy. The 3,351 illegal migrants who were deported cost Italian taxpayers €4.68 million (£3.97m/$5.52m).

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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