German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere arrives for the weekly cabinet meeting on January 25, 2017 at the Chancellery in Berlin. / AFP / STEFFI LOOS
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EU interior ministers will consider plans Thursday to finance camps in Africa where the U.N. refugee agency and aid groups would process migrants to prevent them trying to cross the Mediterranean to Europe.The sea crossing from Libya to Italy, operated by people smugglers, is now the main route for migrants seeking better lives in wealthy Europe, but the EU wants to shut it down and admit only refugees. Most of those taking the Libya-Italy route are regarded as economic migrants with no chance of winning asylum in the EU.Since the influx of more than a million people in 2015, many of them fleeing the Syrian conflict, the EU has tightened border controls, making it increasingly hard for migrants and asylum seekers alike to enter the 28-nation bloc.
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