Italy: July Saw More Illegal Migrant Arrivals Than Entire Year of 2019

SALERNO, ITALY - AUGUST 01: People disembark from the Ocean Viking ship on August 01, 2022 in Salerno, Italy. The Ocean Viking, rescue ship of French NGO SOS Mediterranee, received authorization to dock with 380 migrants on board in the port of Salerno, south of Naples. (Photo by Ivan Romano/Getty …
Ivan Romano/Getty Images

The month of July saw more illegal immigrants arrive in Italian territory than the entire year of 2019, as landing continue in areas like the overwhelmed island of Lampedusa.

In 2019, just 11,471 migrants arrived in Italy during the entire year but statistics from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) have revealed that in the month of July alone a total of 13,197 migrants landed, the highest monthly arrival rate since June of 2017.

Populist Matteo Salvini, leader of the League, commented on the data saying, “In July of this year we exceeded the landings recorded throughout 2019. We can’t wait to return to the government to take care of work, security, and defence of Italy,” the newspaper Il Giornale reports.

“We need a minister ready to defend the borders, we owe it out of respect for Italians in difficulty,” Salvini later added.

Salvini served as Interior Minister of Italy for much of 2019 until his party’s coalition with the Five star Movement (M5S) collapsed and he resigned from his post in September.

During his time as Interior Minister, however, Salvini was credited for greatly reducing illegal arrivals as well as subsequent drowning deaths in the Mediterranean, which numbered 754 in 2019 and have risen every year since according to the UNHCR.

One of Salvini’s policies was to close Italian ports to migrant taxi NGOs, which resumed their operations after Salvini left office and have been highly active this year.

On Monday, the migrant taxi ship Ocean Viking dropped off nearly 400 migrants in the port of Salerno, while the ship Sea Watch 3 was able to disembark a further 438 migrants in Taranto over the weekend. Another ship, the Geo Barents, was waiting to drop off 659 migrants as of Monday.

Another major point of entry for illegals has been the island of Lampedusa, which has become repeatedly overwhelmed as its reception centre is designed for just 350 people but has recently become home to well over 1,800.

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


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