- On Tuesday, Italian PM Giorgia Meloni's government declared a six-month state of emergency backed by €5M (roughly $5.5M) in funding to help the country face a surge in migrants arriving on its southern shores.1
- The emergency funding comes as Italy has received more than 31K migrants so far this year, compared to roughly 7.9K at this point last year. The money will help Meloni's government set up more migrant reception centers as well as repatriate those not allowed to stay.2
- Italy has received 3K migrants in just the last three days, with a number of boats arriving on the island of Lampedusa, and the nation's coastguard has rescued around 2K people since Friday.3
- The shelter on Lampedusa, with a capacity of 350-400 people, has been overwhelmed by the recent arrivals. Even after ferrying hundreds to Sicily and the mainland on Tuesday, authorities hoped to ferry 400 more, weather permitting.1
- Following a deadly shipwreck off the coast of the southern region of Calabria in February, Meloni urged the EU to help slow migration. Meloni herself has imposed harsher prison sentences for human traffickers.4
- This comes as Italy's migration body reported that during the first three months of 2023, 441 deaths had been recorded in the Central Mediterranean and that delays in state-led rescues saw at least 127 dead. Most migrants are from sub-Saharan Africa and use Tunisia as a launching point to Italy.3
- Right narrative, as provided by The national herald. Right-wing Meloni isn't the only one calling for a continent-wide effort to deter and deport migrants who are ineligible to stay. EU officials themselves have pointed out that only 21% of ineligible migrants are sent back to their home countries, and in only 60% of cases do authorities contact those countries regarding repatriation. Italy has faced the brunt of this crisis for years, and it's time the 27-member block step up to help.
- Left narrative, as provided by Amnesty international. While Meloni's government uses tragedy to call for inhumane deportations, the real solution to this issue is investing in safe, legal routes to Italy. So long as these asylum seekers are deemed 'illegal immigrants,' they will continue to take unofficial, dangerous trips across the sea, leading to more and more preventable deaths.