Europe steps up fight against illegal migrants as their numbers soar this year

Migrants being taken care of by Red Cross staff in the port of Restinga in the Canary Islands after being rescued at sea by the Spanish authorities, on Oct 4, 2021.
Migrants being taken care of by Red Cross staff in the port of Restinga in the Canary Islands after being rescued at sea by the Spanish authorities, on Oct 4, 2021.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

LONDON - European Union officials plan to intensify their fight against human smugglers, in a bid to deal with soaring numbers of illegal immigrants landing on the continent's shores, most of whom get to Europe with the help of criminal smugglers.

A 30-page plan generated by the European Commission, the EU's executive body, proposes that the Union should sign "tailor-made operational partnerships against smuggling" with countries on the central migration transit routes to Europe, offering financial incentives to those that crack down on such human flows.

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