133,868 illegal immigrants have entered Europe in 2017 so far, according to the United Nation’s International Organisation for Migration. 128,000 of these have arrived by sea, with the vast majority coming through Greece from the Middle-East, or through Italy from Africa.
Arrivals on land through Turkey, Bulgaria and Hungary have been reduced to negligible levels, a sign that Eastern Europe’s tough border measures are having the desired affect. It also suggests that the EU-Turkey deal is having some affect on the situation, but only to divert migrants to other routes.
However, the flow of illegal migrants taking the sea route shows no sign of abating, nor is there any suggestion – even from the most liberal of commentators – that any of these migrants are genuine asylum seekers. It appears that the proponents of this scam have decided the pretext isn’t even necessary anymore.
The most common countries of origin for those arriving through the Italian route are Nigeria, Bangladesh, Guinea, Ivory Coast and Mali. Some of the more popular nationalities of those coming through Greece are Iraq, Afghanistan, the Republic of Congo and Pakistan. None of these countries are experiencing conflict, but even if they were there are a great number of safe countries between them and the shores of Europe.
It’s worth noting that there has been an increase in migrants from Syria arriving in Greece, which coincides with vast swathes of land being liberated from ISIS by the Syrian Arab Army – it would be fair to assume that the so-called “moderate rebels” (al-Qaeda, al-Nusra), as well as many ISIS fighters, can be counted in high numbers amongst these arrivals.