Cairo deported 36 Sudanese migrants back to Khartoum, Sudan, after they attempted to emigrate illegally to Italy last week, a government agency reported Thursday, according to Ahram News. The migrants were found on a fishing boat off the northern coast of Egypt.
Egypt has arrested more than 600 Egyptian and Sudanese citizens in the past month for trying to emigrate illegally to either Libya or Europe. These migrants represent only some of the thousands of illegal immigrants and refugees -- many of whom have fled from conflict zones such as Sudan, Syria, and Eritrea -- who have attempted to emigrate to Italy or Greece by crossing the Mediterranean. Once inside a European country, many of these people apply for asylum to stay. If granted, they are then free to travel elsewhere in the European Union (EU).
In recent months, Italy and Greece have seen a surge in the number of people arriving, with hundreds of migrants arriving daily in some towns. Many of these villages cannot accommodate so many people and on June 25, several EU nations, including Germany and France, volunteered to welcome 40,000 migrants from Italy and Greece.
The border crossings can be very dangerous, and many migrants never make it to their destinations alive. Human smugglers often charge upwards of $1,000 for passage on a rubber dinghy that is overcrowded and unsafe.
Egyptian authorities have arrested and deported many migrants back to their home countries in the past month. On July 8, Egyptian border police stopped 328 people from illegally crossing into Libya, Ahram News reported.
Many of those seeking asylum are either from Sudan or Syria. An ongoing armed conflict has displaced 1 million people from Sudan, according to the BBC. More than 4 million Syrians are registered as refugees, according to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees.