ER Editor: See also this report titled Coronavirus: Migrant crossings into Europe spike, report says. Of note, in relation to the globally hyped-up virus scare, this comes as a sobering thought:
The EU’s asylum agency has previously warned that the pandemic could ultimately trigger more arrivals in the future — particularly if it leads to food shortages and more turmoil in the Middle East and North Africa.
“The risk of destabilizing effects resulting from COVID-19 outbreaks have the potential to affect future asylum trends,” the EASO agency said in a report last month.
So overall, March saw a decline in arrivals of illegal immigrants, with April being the lowest month since 2009. Arrivals have since picked up, however, to the point where, as of May, numbers were only 6% down on the previous year. Economic recovery may not be V-shaped, but illegal immigration certainly is.
Alexander Gauland of Germany’s AfD party (see 2nd article below) makes a valid point, that mass immigration can indeed be curbed with the right political will. Being overrun with illegals is not a fait accompli.
We’re including this old migrant route map which shows the main migration pathways into Europe. Mentioned below, the Eastern Mediterranean route from Turkey appears to feed into the Western Balkans route. Both of these pathways are mentioned in the articles below:
Illegal Migration Into Europe is on the Rise Again – Report
In April, the number of unauthorised crossings into Europe dropped to a record low number since 2009 due to the coronavirus crisis, according to border data provided by national authorities. Now the situation within Europe’s Schengen Area has been returning to what it had been in the start of the year, before the global pandemic kicked in.
The number of migrants trying to enter the European Union sharply increased in May following a significant drop the month before, the Funke media group reported, citing figures provided by Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency.
According to figures cited by the media, there were 4,300 illegal crossings into the European Schengen Area registered in May, nearly a triple increase since April. The Eastern Mediterranean route remained the most popular path to Europe for potential asylum seekers. Overall, there were 31,000 unauthorised crossing into Europe recorded since the start of the year, which is a six percent drop from the same period in 2019.
The quoted report is not currently available on Frontex’s official web page. However, the agency previously argued that illegal crossings have sharply dropped to a record low number in April due to coronavirus crisis and widespread border closures. The unauthorised EU border crossings along the main migratory routes thus plummeted by 85% in April, while only around 40 detections of illegal border-crossing activity were recorded on the Eastern Mediterranean route – a 99% drop in comparison to March. The prior month, however, the number of illegal crossings to Europe had already halved from February to 4,650, the agency earlier revealed, as coronavirus restrictions had started being introduced around the world. Due to delayed reporting, however, some of these figures may have been revised now.
Apart from the most popular Eastern Mediterranean migratory route, some other paths have still seen more migration traffic this year, as nearly 7,000 people have reportedly tried to enter Europe through the Western Balkans since the start of 2020, which was nearly a 50% rise in comparison to the previous year. Earlier, the EU’s asylum agency, EASO, argued that there is a risk of the COVID-19 pandemic triggering more asylum-seeking activity in the future from countries in the Middle East and North Africa due to potential food shortages.
Frontex fears a new wave of migration to Europe
The EU border agency Frontex has warned of a new wave of migration to Europe. In May, it recorded almost 4,300 illegal border crossings on the main routes.
That is three times as many as in April. The Reuters news agency cited the report by EU border guards.
Accordingly, the route via Turkey to Greece is again the “most active migration route”. In May, 1,250 people traveled to Europe via this route, which is eight times as many as in the previous month.
Against this background, the AfD parliamentary group leader in the Bundestag, Alexander Gauland (pictured), called for increased border protection. Illegal migrants have to be “consistently and without exception” rejected at the external borders. “The migration crisis is still acute and unsolved. The Corona pandemic only temporarily displaced illegal migration to Europe from the public eye,” Gauland warned.
However, the Corona crisis had shown that it was very possible to effectively control and protect one’s own borders. “Even if the borders are opened again for intra-European travel, border controls must be maintained in order to prevent illegal crossings by non-EU citizens,” said Gauland. Since Monday, the borders between Germany and its neighboring countries have been passable again without controls.
Turkey had let thousands of migrants pass through Greece in March, increasing pressure on the EU. Gauland warned: “As long as the EU is dependent on the arbitrariness of Turkish President Erdogan, who can open the locks at will, and as long as the federal government continues to send out fatal invitation and ‘everyone can stay’ signals, the next asylum rush is only a question of time.”
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