The policy tap fallacy: Lessons from the Central Mediterranean Route

This policy paper provides a critical analysis of the use of restrictive entry and asylum regulation as a migration management tool, using Italy as a case study. It proposes that such restrictions, rather than deterring irregular migration, tend to push more people into irregularity. While the outsourcing, or “externalization” of border controls may have contributed to the recent drop in sea arrivals, migration literature and evidence from the Central Mediterranean Route suggest that reducing access to legal pathways will likely have no significant effect on the number of migrants that reach Italian shores.

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