Illegal migrant crossings into EU on the rise, says Frontex
According to the EU’s official border police agency, Frontex, there have been 86,000 illegal border crossings into the bloc detected since January of this year.
This figure does not include individuals fleeing from Ukraine to the EU through border crossing points, and it represents 82% more illegal crossings than were seen during the same period last year.
In May of this year alone, 23,500 illegal migrants were detected by the agency.
The majority of those illegal migrants detected entered the bloc through the central and eastern Mediterranean, as well as the Balkans.
Individuals detected hailed from regions such as Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Egypt, Bangladesh, Tunisia, Nigeria, and the Congo.
In particular, the island of Cyprus experienced a sharp rise in illegal migration, seeing 213% more crossings than last year.
The figures also count migrants who may have been detected more than once after multiple crossings or attempted crossings.
Frontex, which was established by the EU in 2004 to deal with “cross-border crimes,” is tasked with defending the European Schengen Area from human trafficking, drug and weapons smuggling, terorrism, and illegal migration.
As the debate about the integrity of Europe’s borders continues, with figures such as France’s Michel Barnier highlighting the dangers of open-borders migration, Ireland’s government continues to offer amnesty to illegal migrants resident in the state.
Taoiseach Micheál Martin was harshly rebuked last week by a Swedish MEP for Ireland’s lax border control policies, saying that the strategy “worsens migration pressures on Europe.”