Located at the southernmost tip of Europe, just off the coast of Africa, Malta has during recent years increasingly come into the international spotlight as a frontline state for irregular migration from Africa toward the European Union. Even though, in absolute terms, the number of seaborne migrants landing on the island has been rather modest, given the country's small size and very high population density, illegal immigration has become one of Malta's top policy priorities, nationally as well as on the EU level, and it has been calling for more support and burden-sharing mechanisms from other EU countries. This essay offers a broad overview of the migration issue as it has been unfolding in Malta during recent years, ranging from the main trends in irregular immigration, asylum issues, and the country's strict and contested detention policy to integration issues and the growth in anti-immigrant movements in Malta.
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Derek Lutterbeck; Small Frontier Island: Malta and the Challenge of Irregular Immigration. Mediterranean Quarterly 1 March 2009; 20 (1): 119–144. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/10474552-2008-038
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