In recent years, phrases such as “migrant crisis” and “illegal migration” have gained increased currency as means of describing larger waves of migration to Europe. International law rests on the assumption that refuge and asylum are always “legitimate”, thus failing to provide a justification for the use of terms such as “illegal migration”. As a response, in this paper the author adopts the term “illicit migration” to refer to undeclared migration which does not pass through official channels, and which, he argues, is a clearer expression of the phenomenon currently underway, in which large numbers of migrants seek to secretly enter the borders of their destination countries. The topic under discussion has particular importance due to the reflexive way in which European countries tie migration to extremism. This has spurred European nations to increase reliance on an “iron shield” erected to isolate themselves from those landing on their shores from the southern end of the Mediterranean, and with no distinctions made between refugees legitimately seeking refuge from armed conflict and those seeking to “ride the wave”.