US, Europe clamp down on migration even as arrivals drop

July 09, 2018 - 3:00 am

ROME (AP) — As NATO allies convene, one issue not on their formal agenda but never far from their thoughts is immigration — even though illegal border crossings are decreasing on both sides of the Atlantic.

The separation of families at the U.S.-Mexico border and Italy's refusal to let shipwrecked migrants disembark in its ports illustrate the hardening positions on border control in Washington and European capitals.

Lost in the heated political debate is the fact that migrant arrivals in Europe across the Mediterranean from Africa and Turkey are at their lowest level in five years, while arrests on the U.S.-Mexico border — an imperfect but widely used gauge of illegal crossings — are far below levels seen two decades ago.

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