European Union Commision President Ursula von de Leyen and Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni toured a migrant center Sunday on the small Italian island of Lampedusa.
The center was recently overwhelmed with almost 7,000 migrants in a 24-hour period, a total that is nearly equivalent to the number of people who live on the island.
Residents of Italy’s southernmost island say they are frustrated with the steady stream of arrivals on their tiny island.
The island has struggled for years to manage the arrivals.
Lampedusa is less than 160 kilometers from Tunisia, making it a logical first stop for the migrants who are looking for a better life in Europe and elsewhere.
Many make the journey in rickety boats and they are often rescued by the coast guard. Many do not survive the journey. The latest victim was a 5-month-old baby, officials say.
Meloni, who was elected last year, promised to end the mass migrations.
Television footage of the politicians’ trip to the island showed them talking to residents.
Italy’s right-wing government recently allocated close to $50 million to help Lampedusa manage the massive influx of migrants. Some residents say that sum is not enough.