With Populists Out of Govt, Illegal Boat Migrants Up 673 Per Cent in Italy

Migrants from a migrant housing centre on the Italian island of Lampedusa, are guided by a security official on May 14, 2021, as they prepare to board the ship 'Cossyra', bound for the Sicilian town of Porto Empedocle. - Migration has returned to the top of the political agenda in …
ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP via Getty Images

Illegal migrant landings have increased by nearly sevenfold since leftist Italian Interior Minister Luciana Lamorgese took over from Matteo Salvini in 2019.

Earlier this week, Ms Lamorgese, a member of the leftist Democratic Party (PD), admitted that she could not stop the wave of new landings of illegal immigrants that continue to arrive on the shores of Sicily.

“Many of the landings on the Sicilian coasts are autonomous, and we cannot stop them. The fight against immigration by sea is very different from that by land,” Lamorgese claimed in comments reported by Italian newspaper Il Giornale.

However, just two years ago, when League (Lega) leader Matteo Salvini served as interior minister in a populist coalition government with the Five Star Movement, he succeeded in dramatically reducing landings to just 4,120 from January 1st to August 10th, 2019.

The number of landings has increased during the same period so far this year to 31,853 — a rise of 673 per cent.

Cases of drownings of migrants in the Mediterranean were also lower in the Salvini era, with Salvini’s tough anti-mass migration policies being credited for the decrease in 2018, a trend that continued into 2019.

Since becoming Interior Minister, Lamogese has also increased the amount of money migrants are given and raised the overall funds spent on their reception, which critics say has acted as a “pull” factor for new arrivals.

Salvini also had a much tougher line on migrant taxi NGOs, forcing many of them to abandon their operations in the Mediterranean.

In the last several months, however, the NGOs have resumed their operations, picking up and dropping off hundreds of migrants in Italy.

Experts have also expressed concern over the possibility of radical Islamic extremists hiding among the migrants arriving in Italy.

National anti-mafia and anti-terrorism prosecutor Federico Cafiero de Raho stated that he was especially concerned over the recent instability in Tunisia, one of the main points of departure for migrants arriving in Italy.

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

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