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Frontex: 330,000 unauthorized border crossings in 2022

The number of illegal border crossings at the EU's external borders increased in 2022, almost surpassing 2016 levels during the EU's migrant crisis. More specifically, 330,000 unauthorized border crossings were reported in 2022, a 64% increase from the year before.

Frontex, the EU's Border and Coast Guard Agency, claims that illegal border crossings skyrocketed in 2022 after a second year of sharp increases following the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Agency also notes that the Western Balkan route was the most affected, accounting for roughly half of all detections. Syrians, Afghans, and Tunisians made up the majority of people who were caught trying to enter the EU illegally, making up 47% of all detections. Particularly from Syria, a large number of migrants entered, with numbers doubling to 94,000 compared to 2021.

"Separately, almost 13 million Ukrainian refugees were counted on entry at the EU’s external land borders from Ukraine and Moldova between February 24, 2022, until the end of the year, which are not included in these figures. In the same period, ten million Ukrainian nationals were reported on an exit at the same border sections," according to Frontex's press statement.

The number of unauthorized border crossings along the Western Balkan route increased by 136% from 2021 to a number of 145,600. Along with Tunisians, Indians, and Burundi, the main nationalities mentioned were Syrians, Afghans, and Turks.

Throughout 2022, there were more detections reported in the Central Mediterranean, with that number rising by more than half over 100,000 detections. Egypt, Tunisia, and Bangladesh were the leading countries of origin for these detections, with 2022 rates representing the highest Tunisian arrival rates on the route since records began being kept in 2017.

In addition, throughout 2022, 42,800 unauthorized border crossings along the Eastern Mediterranean route were documented, with Syrians, Afghans, and Nigerians making up the majority of those. Even though data for this route had increased since 2021, it was still less than half of what was observed in 2019.

Regarding the remaining route, 14,582 detections were noted throughout the Western Mediterranean route, with Algeria, Morocco, and Syria accounting for the majority of them. Similar numbers (15,462) are seen on the Western African route, where the leading countries of origin for the new arrivals were Morocco, Senegal, Guinea, and Ivory Coast. However, compared to the same period previous year, the detection rates for both of these pathways were lower by 21 and 31%, respectively.

Over 50 different nationalities made illegal border crossings over the English Channel in an effort to enter the United Kingdom in 2022. The majority of the 71,000 illegal border crossings were from Albania, Afghanistan, and Iraq.



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