In the last 48 hours, approximately 1700 migrants have arrived on the island of Lampedusa, causing the local reception point to become overcrowded.
The tiny Sicilian island is only 150 kilometers (90 miles) from Tunisia’s coast.
Hundreds of migrants aboard an Italian Coast Guard vessel were helped off the boat and onto an awaiting minivan in footage captured by Sky Italia on Sunday.
According to Interior Ministry figures, over 28,000 migrants have arrived in Italy since the beginning of the year, nearly four times the number that arrived during the same period in 2022.
However, compared to the hundreds of thousands who were rescued at sea a few years ago, the number of those reaching Italian shores after voyages aboard unseaworthy boats launched by traffickers, usually based in Libya or Tunisia, has decreased.
Giorgia Meloni’s right-wing coalition government, which includes anti-migrant League leader Matteo Salvini, has cracked down on humanitarian rescue boats operating in the central Mediterranean north of Libya since its formation six months ago.