To illustrate the challenges facing the country, Interior Minister Matteo Salvini continues to point south, at people coming by boat across the Mediterranean.
But in reality, in part because of the government’s hard-line approach, the number of people arriving by sea has plummeted, from over 180,000 at its peak in 2016 to a little over 3,000 so far this year.
Instead, the greatest influx of people seeking asylum is now coming from the north — from other European countries, who are sending migrants back to Italy in accordance with the EU’s so-called Dublin regulation. […]
If migrants travel onward — to Germany, for example — the new country has the right to send them back to where they first arrived in the European Union. In 2018, Italy accepted more than 6,300 Dublin transfers — the highest figure ever. That’s almost twice as many people as arrived by boat so far this year.
Last year, Germany alone sent 2,292 asylum seekers back to Italy, a number that can be expected to rise this year. By comparison, less than 1,200 migrants have arrived by boat from Libya in the first seven months of 2019; the total for the year is expected to be about 1,900.
Dublin-Rückschiebungen nach Italien