Italy Cuts Illegal Migration Sea Landings by 80 Per Cent


Illegal sea landings to Italy have dropped by 80 per cent in just one year after the country’s populist government enacted tough new immigration measures.

Between January 1st and December 2nd 2018, 23,011 migrants arrived by sea to the shores of Italy compared to 117,120 over the same period last year, according to data published by the United Nations’ International Organization for Migration (IOM).

Italy has gone from the number one Mediterranean landing destination in 2017 to number three, after Greece (29,782) and Spain (52,678).

In contrast, socialist-run Spain has seen its migrant arrivals increase by more than two and a half times (263 per cent) from 20,043 to 52,678 across the same periods.

It was in the summer that Italy, under the directive of interior minister and deputy prime minister Matteo Salvini, halted much of the illegal migration by blocking private non-governmental organisation (NGO) migrant transport vessels from docking in Italy, starting with denying port to the Aquarius, chartered by SOS Méditerranée and Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF or Doctors without borders).

After an eight-day standoff in the Mediterranean Sea, where neither Italy nor Malta would accept the vessel, Spain welcomed the Aquarius and its 629 sub-Saharan African migrants to its shores.

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