Victoria Friedman, Breitbart, December 6, 2018
Illegal sea landings to Italy have dropped by 80 per cent in just one year after the country’s populist government enacted tough new immigration measures.
Between January 1st and December 2nd 2018, 23,011 migrants arrived by sea to the shores of Italy compared to 117,120 over the same period last year, according to data published by the United Nations’ International Organization for Migration (IOM).
Italy has gone from the number one Mediterranean landing destination in 2017 to number three, after Greece (29,782) and Spain (52,678).
In contrast, socialist-run Spain has seen its migrant arrivals increase by more than two and a half times (263 per cent) from 20,043 to 52,678 across the same periods.
While Italy’s new government, a coalition of the right-wing League headed by Salvini and the anti-establishment Five Star Movement led by fellow Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio, has toughened the country’s position on illegal immigration, Spain’s socialist government under Pedro Sánchez has welcomed migrants, with the country’s foreign minister Josep Borrell claiming Europe needs “new blood.”
“Europe’s demographic evolution shows that unless we want to gradually turn into an ageing continent, we need new blood, and it doesn’t look like this new blood is coming from our capacity to procreate,” Borrell said in August.
To deal with the issue of illegal migrants in Italy, Salvini unveiled in September a security and migration decree which terminates humanitarian residency permits, which allows migrants to live temporarily in Italy who do not qualify for ordinary asylum, and increases funding for deportation centres.
Some 2,000 migrants with the permit a month are expected to be deported when the law comes into force in January 2019 as the two-year limited visas expire.