Italy Migrant Crisis: Illegal Entries Have Nearly Tripled This Year

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Italian Interior Ministry figures have revealed that the number of illegal entries to Italy has nearly tripled so far this year compared to the same period in 2022, despite promises to curb illegal migration by Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni.

The Interior Ministry report asserts that from January 1st to March 10th, a total of 17,592 illegals arrived in Italy, up from 5,976 in 2022 and 5,995 during the same period in 2021. The month of February alone saw 9,465 illegal arrivals this year.

Just ten days into March and the number of arrivals this year, 3,165, has already exceeded 2022, which saw just over 1,300 illegal entries to Italy in that period.

According to the Interior Ministry, the largest single nationality so far this year has been migrants from the Ivory Coast, followed by Guinean nationals and Bangladeshis.

The new report continues a trend of a much higher number of arrivals this year, as a January report noted that in the first four weeks of this year, the number of migrants had tripled compared to the same period in 2022.

The numbers come as Italian intelligence officials have warned that there may be as many as 700,000 migrants in Libya alone who are looking for an opportunity to cross the Mediterranean Sea and head to Italy.

A report from the newspaper Il Giornale suggests that when all countries of departure for migrants are taken into account, the number may reach as high as 900,000 people who wish to make the dangerous journey to Europe.

The trend of illegal immigration for the last several years has also been seen to increase in volume in the summer months, with August of last year peaking at 16,822 arrivals.

Should current trends continue, Italy may not only break the 100,000 illegal arrivals number that occurred last year but may see numbers approaching all-time records set in 2016 when a total of 181,436 illegal migrants set foot in Italy.

The large surge of illegals comes despite promises by conservative Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, who vowed to tackle the rising trend last year, going so far as to propose a naval blockade to stem, the number of boats crossing the sea.

However, despite the promises, the government has so far only attempted to set rules for migrant taxi NGO ships, which account for a fraction of the total number of illegals last year, transporting around 10,000 migrants as of October 2022.

Meloni and her government have, instead of going forward with a blockade, proposed more vague solutions to the issue, such as spearheading investment into Africa in an effort to create opportunities for migrants in their home countries that may entice them not to leave.

Prime Minister Meloni has also stated that she intends to fiercely go after people smugglers following the deaths of 72 migrants aboard a boat that shipwrecked off the coast of the town of Cutro, promising prison terms of up to 30 years for people smugglers.

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



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