While the likes of Katie Hopkins dehumanise these people - many of whom are fleeing war or repression - and others argue that the countries of origin should be doing better by their citizens rather than leaving the burden on Europe, the below chart shows that in most instances those countries of origin are utterly failed, or totally oppressive, states.
Syria is embroiled in civil war, Eritrea has just been named one of the most repressive nations on Earth and others like Mali and Nigeria are struggling with Islamist insurgencies in their remote northern regions. Not to mention the effects of climate change or the lingering legacy of colonialism.
Whatever the solution to this problem is, we surely cannot allow the deaths of thousands of our fellow humans to continue unabated, particularly as immigration is clearly such an important issue to so many in this country.
And while Italy and Malta - the countries on the front line of this trade in human traffic - have been effectively left to deal with the issue alone, despite limited resources, this final chart shows that countries across the continent must also bear some responsibility while people continue to risk their lives in order to reach them.