“Last year, more than 146,000 people were arrested for entering the country illegally, a 65-per-cent increase over 2006, and many more are believed to slip in undetected. The tiny Greek islands closest to Turkey experienced a 10-fold jump in the number of migrants washing ashore and floundering in leaky boats near their beaches.
If they are caught, undocumented migrants are fingerprinted, held for a few days in overcrowded detention centres and then released with orders to leave the country within 30 days.

But the deportation orders can only be enforced if the migrant’s home country is willing to take him or her back. In the case of Asians, Africans and Arabs, who make up an increasingly large proportion of illegal migrants, that rarely happens, according to Greek officials. The political asylum system, meanwhile, has a backlog of some 70,000 cases.

“The numbers are so huge that it’s becoming extremely difficult for us to pick out the political refugees from the economic migrants,” said Konstantinos Bitsios, secretary-general of the Ministry of Interior. Greece, he added, is “unable to cope.”.”

Kilde: The Globe and Mail, d. 5. maj 2009 “Migrants flood into Greece