In 2017, the European Union (EU) entered into an arrangement with the Libyan government aimed at reducing migration across the Mediterranean Sea. Simultaneously, the Italian government entered into an additional bilateral agreement with the North African country. These deals, along with other efforts coordinated between EU member states, were a response to hundreds of thousands of migrants and asylum seekers taking the world’s most dangerous migration route to European soil. According to the UNHCR, between 2014 and 2017, over 1.5 million people attempted the crossing. To date, 2.3 million have taken the journey with at least 24,400 dead or missing as a result. The deals between the EU and Libya provide training and technical assistance to the Libyan Coast Guard and other migration control authorities in the country, along with direct financial and material support for operations on land and at sea. EU authorities claim that these measures are aimed at reducing dangerous crossings, but the Libyan Coast Guard’s extensive repatriation of those attempting to make the journey, along with increased border security and migrant detention add up to a tremendous network of externalized border controls that inhibit refugees’ ability to make asylum claims. Now, five years from the beginning of these agreements and operations, a legacy of continually expanding borders and human rights abuses directed at refugees has crystallized, and these practices show no sign of slowing down any time soon.