Top EU official heads to an Italian island struggling with migrant influx as Italy toughens stance

MILAN (AP) — European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen plans to travel on Sunday to the Italian island of Lampedusa amid an influx of migrants who arrived this week. Von der Leyen’s spokesman Eric Mamer has confirmed that she would make the trip at the invitation of Italian Premier Giorgia Meloni. Tensions on the small island were rising Saturday as both residents and migrants chafed at the long wait times to transfer people from the crowded reception center to the Italian mainland. About 7,000 migrants arrived on Lampedusa from Tunisia this week. The Red Cross said that 3,800 remained on the island on Friday. Media reports indicated that was down to about 2,000 on Saturday.