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Europe tackles its migrant influx

Europe tackles its migrant influx

The number of migrants crossing the Mediterranean Sea en route to Italy has more than doubled this year. Spain, France, and Greece have seen smaller increases. That rising tide has added momentum to the most significant overhaul of immigration policy in Europe in decades.

On Sunday, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen joined Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni on Lampedusa, a speck of an island where nearly 12,000 migrants have arrived in just the past week. Their visit highlighted two key issues: how northern European countries should help their southern neighbors cope with the newcomers while their claims of asylum are considered, and whether the European Union can work better with undemocratic regimes in North Africa to stem the exodus.

Embedded in that debate is the idea that an individual’s dignity must remain intact as immigration law is applied. “European migration policy is always built on humanitarian spirit,” Manfred Weber, leader of the European People’s Party, told Euronews. “But on the other hand, we have to fight against illegal migration.”

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