Taking a page out of the U.K.’s Rwanda playbook, the Italian government plans to ship directly to Albania, each year, as many as 36,000 migrants intercepted at sea, reports The Times of London. Based on a 2023 agreement between Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni and Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama, migrants would be sent to a 3,000-person capacity holding center near the Albanian port of Shengjin administered by the Italian government. Once at the holding center, migrants would have their asylum claims processed. Those ruled to be legitimate asylum seekers would be sent to Italy, while those denied asylum would be deported to their country of origin—assuming that country is “safe.”
Although not yet approved by the Albanian parliament, the agreement recently got the green light from the Constitutional Court, which ruled against a petition by opposition MPs insisting that it was a violation of Albania’s sovereignty. The agreement now returns to parliament, where the Rama government has a majority, and will more than likely pass. The agreement will, however, in no way solve Italy’s migration woes, with 155,000 migrant arrivals in 2023—a 50% increase from the prior year—but will increase the misery of desperate migrants.