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Illegal Migrant Arrivals in EU Are at Their Highest Since 2016


Frontex, the European Union border agency, has announced that so far this year nearly 230,000 migrants have arrived illegally in the EU, the largest number since 2016.

According to the agency, the number of migrants who are known to have illegally entered the European Union between January and the end of September of this year totalled 228,240, with 33,380 arriving in the month of September alone.

According to Frontex, the number of arrivals this year is up 70 per cent compared to the same period in 2021 and is the largest number of arrivals since 2016, French newspaper Le Parisien reports.

The Western Balkans route has seen the most migrant traffic this year, with 106,396 illegal entries — representing a 170 per cent increase from 2021.

“The Western Balkan route continues to be the most active migratory route into the EU with 19,160 detections in September, twice as many as a year ago. The high number of illegal border crossings can be attributed to repeated crossing attempts by migrants already present in the Western Balkans,” the agency said in a statement this week.

The increased traffic along the Balkan route has led to countries such as the Czech Republic enforcing border controls with its neighbour and fellow EU member-state Slovakia, going as far as bringing the military in to help guard the frontier earlier this week.

The Central Mediterranean route to Italy has also seen a surge of activity this year, increasing by 42 per cent to a total of 65,572 migrants.