Posted on March 14, 2024

Illegal Immigration Soars 541% Higher on West African Route Into EU, Announces Frontex Border Agency

John Cody, Remix, March 14, 2024

Europe’s illegal immigration crisis shows no signs of slowing, with the first two months of 2024 showing 31,200 irregular border crossings, which is the same level as last year’s near-record numbers, according to data from Frontex, the EU’s external border agency.

One of the standout data points was the explosive growth along the Western African route into Europe, which jumped 541 percent in the last two months.

“The Western African route remained the busiest migratory route in the EU, with arrivals in January and February reaching nearly 12,100. This was the highest total for these two months since Frontex began collecting data in 2011,” wrote the agency.

In recent months, criminal groups based in Mauritania that focus on human trafficking have been sending sub-Saharan migrants transiting through the country to the Canary Islands, which belong to Spain but lay off the coast of Africa. People smugglers cram these people in ever greater numbers into “cayuco” boats, representing a serious threat to their lives but higher profit margins for the gangs.

Other routes also saw big jumps, including the Eastern Mediterranean route, which saw a 117 percent increase. Meanwhile, the Central Mediterranean route, which saw the largest number of irregular crossings in 2023, “continued to show a downward trend from the recent months, with a year-on-year drop of 70 percent to slightly above 4,300. In January, there were around 2,000 detections on the route.”

Last year saw an immigration tsunami, with more illegal immigrants arriving in Europe than any year since the records set in 2016.

The new numbers are sure to sow worries that the EU will continue to refuse to enforce its borders, especially with the new Frontex chief, Hans Leutens, arguing that immigration is unstoppable. As Remix News reported in January of this year, he said: “Migration is a reality. Nothing can stop people from crossing a border. No wall, no fence, no sea, no river.”