New Wave of 4,400 African Migrants Hits Italy in Just Two Days


Amidst scandals of Mafia involvement in migrant rescue efforts in Italy, some 4,400 mostly sub-Saharan African migrants arrived on Italy’s shores between Thursday and Friday. As usual, the migrants were picked up just miles from the Libyan shoreline and shuttled by Coast Guard vessels, the Spanish navy and various NGOs all the way to Italy. On Thursday, rescue vessels picked up 2,900 migrants while on Friday, rescuers added another 1,500 people to their number in a series of operations coordinated by the Italian Coast Guard. Prior to Thursday’s new arrivals, Italy had already taken in more than 45,785 migrants since the first of the year, an increase of 35% compared to the same period in 2016, which saw a record-breaking number of migrants arrive. According to Italy’s Ministry of the Interior, the region hardest hit by the waves of new migrants has been Lombardy, home to Italy’s business capital of Milan. According to reports, many African migrants disembarking in Italy do not intend to stay in the country and immediately travel north to attempt to cross the border into France, Switzerland or Austria. Tighter border controls, however, have meant that the vast majority end up staying in Italy against their
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