ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greek police say they have made more than 3,000 arrests in a month-old campaign to hold and deport illegal immigrants.
A police statement says nearly 17,000 people were temporarily detained in the greater Athens area since the drive started on Aug. 4, with 2,144 of those arrested.
Debt-crippled Greece is the main gateway to the European Union for illegal immigrants, most coming from Asia and Africa. The influx has fueled racist rhetoric and violence.
Hundreds of thousands have entered Greece in recent years, and officials said Wednesday some 400 were illegally crossing the land border with Turkey every day before the clampdown.
The Turkish border influx has dropped 84 percent, the police statement said, with 1,121 illegal immigrants arrested there over the past month, compared to 6,991 a year earlier.