European Border and Coast Guard sees increased number of illegal migrants

The European Border and Coast Guard Frontex sees an increase in the number of people who are trying to enter the European Union illegally.

Last year, due to the pandemic, there were global travel restrictions. A historically low number of asylum seekers was counted. As those restrictions are partly lifted, travel movements are increasing again. In the first five months of this year, a total of more than 47,000 migrants and refugees have been counted; 47 percent more than in 2020, Frontex reports.

The route from North Africa across the central Mediterranean is most popular with migrants from Tunisia and Bangladesh, says the EU agency. Between January and May, the number of illegal border passages there doubled to 15,700 compared to the same period in 2020.

Frontex also sees more illegal migrants on Spains western sea route, mainly from Algeria and Morocco. In the first five months of the year, it was more than 4550, which is 21 percent more than in the same period last year.

Decrease

In the Eastern Mediterranean, Greece and Turkey, the number of migrants and refugees decreased by nearly half last year. In that place, Syrians and Turks are mainly taking the crossing.