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Italy in Need of Assistance as Thousands of Illegal Immigrants Cross the Sea

Rome, Italy: The Prime Minister of Italy has issued a stark warning about the consequences of the increasing influx of migrants arriving in Europe, citing concerns about the potential impact on Europe’s future.

In recent days, thousands of migrants have made the perilous journey to the Mediterranean island of Lampedusa, often using illegal means. These arrivals, primarily by sea from North Africa, have overwhelmed the island’s capacity to handle them effectively. According to data from the UN Migration Agency, approximately 8,500 individuals have landed on Lampedusa in just three days, surpassing the island’s entire resident population. Reports also suggest that additional small boats are en route to Italy via the Mediterranean.

In response to this crisis, the European Union, which traditionally maintains a common immigration policy, has called for a reassessment of these policies. The Italian Prime Minister emphasized the need for a fair distribution of responsibility among European Union member states to address the challenge posed by illegal immigration.

During a joint press conference with Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, both leaders acknowledged the severity of the situation. They underscored the importance of collaborative efforts to confront the complexities associated with irregular migration and find sustainable solutions.


European Union

“Irregular immigration is a challenge for Europe that requires a common response by European countries,” European Commission President von der Leyen said at a press conference, calling on other members of the Union to take in some of the migrants.

The Lampedusa migration center, operated by the Italian Red Cross, has revealed a stark imbalance, with approximately 1,500 migrants currently accommodated despite its designed capacity of only 400 individuals. This situation has triggered discontent among local residents, leading to protests against the influx of illegal immigrants. In some instances, locals obstructed officials attempts to provide assistance to the arriving migrants.

Migrants who have successfully crossed into Sicily and the mainland are also turning to the local branches of the Red Cross for assistance.

Large ships operated by non-governmental organisations (NGOs), such as the Geo Barents by Doctors Without Borders (MSF), have conducted multiple rescue operations, saving nearly 500 migrants during 11 separate missions. These ships are heading towards major Italian ports to disembark the rescued individuals. However, despite these efforts, dozens of small boats continue to brave the treacherous sea journey towards Lampedusa, where the migrant management system is grappling with a severe crisis.

The year 2023 has seen an unprecedented influx of migrants, with a staggering 127,000 arrivals on Italy’s shores, marking a twofold increase compared to the same period last year. Tragically, according to data from the UN Migration Agency, over 2,000 individuals have lost their lives in accidents during their journey from North Africa to Italy and Malta this year.

This persistent flow of illegal migrants persists even as the European Union is in the process of reforming its regulations and policies governing the handling of illegal migration.

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