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FRONTEX: Nearly 160,000 Illegal Border Crossing Detected at EU External Borders in 2021

The European border agency, Frontex, has revealed that the migration situation at the EU’s external borders remains alarming as the number of illegal border crossings rose by nearly 70% throughout 2021.

According to the same report, there were 22,800 illegal border crossings registered on the eastern and western Balkan and central Mediterranean routes, as well as in Cyprus. On the other hand, the number of detections has decreased in the western Mediterranean, reports.

Compared to 2020, the number of illegal lanes increased by 30 percent during October and 18 percent compared to the corresponding period in 2019, when no entry restrictions were imposed.

Eastern border – the most damaged illegal immigration route for 2021 due to Belarus policy

According to preliminary Frontex data, the eastern border has been hardest hit by the migration flow, with nearly 8,000 illegal border crossings, about fifteen times more than in 2021, mainly due to the migration flow in and through Belarus.

Although the number of illegal passages decreased from 3,200 (determined in just one day) in July to 600 in October, strengthening border controls in neighboring countries prevented a large influx of migrants into EU member states. The majority of immigrants came from Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria.

48,500 illegal border crossings were registered on the Western Balkan Road in 2021

More than 9,000 border crossings were observed on the road in October alone, which is a 140 percent increase compared to 2020, when 3,816 illegal cases were detected.

Moreover, the difference is more pronounced compared to 2019, when only 1,003 border crossings were detected, 810 per cent lower than in 2021, making the route responsible for 40 per cent of EU migration for the month of October. Most of the migrants on this route came from Syria, Afghanistan and Morocco.

The routes of the Central, Western and Eastern Mediterranean represent more than 37,000 irregular migrants this year

During the first 10 months of 2021, 55,000 illegal border crossings were recorded in the Central Mediterranean Route, of which 6,420 were reported in October alone – 85 percent more than in 2020 and 186 percent more than in 2019.

A significant increase in the number of migrants, who are believed to have arrived from Turkey by sea, has been observed in Italy. The main nationalities arriving in the EU via this route are Tunisians, Bangladeshis and Egyptians, with the latter becoming the third main immigration nationality for this route, and they are mainly reported from Libya.

However, the number of illegal passages is less visible on the Eastern and Western Mediterranean route, with 42 percent fewer violations (1614) compared to 2020. Overall, 16,390 irregular migrants were observed on the Western Mediterranean route. , 14 percent more than in 2020 and 23 percent less than 2019. Algerians make up more than half (63 percent) of the illegal crossings on this road, followed by Moroccans (29 percent).

Moreover, in the Eastern Mediterranean route, 15,770 illegal crossings were detected, 11 percent less than in 2020 and 76 percent compared to 2019. October data shows 2,585 illegal crossings — an increase of 40 percent compared to the same month last year. Most of the migrants on this route came from Syria, Turkey and Congo (Kinshasa).

The West African migration route represents a 1020% increase compared to pre-pandemic levels

Illegal lanes increased by 46 percent on the West African route, and the number of violations was 167,710. The same was up 1,020 percent compared to 2019 and down by 34 percent compared to 2020.

In October, 3,515 illegal cases were observed on this route, with most migrants coming from Morocco and sub-Saharan Africa.

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