Pope Francis’s visit to Lampedusa had the unintended consequence of attracting more migrants to the small island off the cost of Italy. Whether or not these migrants strategically planned their arrivals in order to capture the Pope’s attention to their plight, the situation on the island remains dire. Just yesterday, 72 migrants were rescued by Italian officials and this past week many more made passage, forcing the island’s reception center to be hazardous and overcrowded. Moreover, as discussed in the article below, Italy recently declared that North Africa was no longer in a “state of emergency”–a rediculous statement especially considering the political instability in Egypt and Mali and its effects across the rest of Northern Africa.
“Dozens of child migrants sleeping on bare earth at Italy’s Lampedusa,” by Naomi O’Leary for Reuters:
Dozens of African child migrants are having to sleep on the bare earth outside the reception center on Italy’s Lampedusa following an upsurge in the number of boats reaching the tiny island, agency Save the Children said on Saturday.
Lampedusa is wrestling with a big backlog in unaccompanied minors because Italian authorities stopped considering North Africa as being in a state of emergency some months ago, meaning no national agency is now charged with housing them…