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Migrants plead for help as EU plans quotas

Wednesday, May 13, 2015 - 01:47

As tens of thousands of migrants pour into Europe seeking a better life, the EU is responding with plans to distribute asylum-seekers more fairly around its member states. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.

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Hundreds have already died in the Mediterranean this year -- and they just keep coming. Migrants escaping poverty and death continue to seek a better life in Europe. As part of its response to the crisis, the EU says it will distribute asylum-seekers more evenly around its member states and take in 20,000 more refugees. But while the British Navy assists in rescue efforts, Britain's newly re-elected Conservative leaders reject any quota system imposed from Brussels. ..and for the migrants themselves, there's no choice but to wait. Many have found temporary shelter under a Paris subway bridge. Aid worker Marie Joseph says their situation is dire. (SOUNDBITE) (French) COORDINATOR FOR CHARITABLE ACTS AT SAINT-BERNARD DE LA CHAPELLE CHURCH, MARIE JOSEPH, SAYING: "In each tent there are at least two or three people, even four. It's a situation that... But if Europe opens its borders, it has really open and understand that there is no such thing as sub-humans. These are people that need to be helped to reconstruct their lives. That's what I have to say to the European Commission." In Italy a migrant says the government has reached its limit. (SOUNDBITE) (Italian) MIGRANT FROM MAURITIUS, ANUSHA MAHADEO, SAYING: "We really need Europe's help. Here in Italy they really have given everything they can and it is right that the others intervene." The UN says some 51,000 migrants have entered Europe by crossing the Mediterranean this year, the majority coming through Italy. About 1,800 have drowned in the attempt.

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Migrants plead for help as EU plans quotas

Wednesday, May 13, 2015 - 01:47