The Latest: German lawmakers pass migration bills

The Latest: German lawmakers pass migration bills

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BRUSSELS (AP) — The Latest on migrants in Europe (all times local):

4:45 p.m.

The German parliament has approved a package of laws reforming the country's rules on asylum and migration.

The laws passed Friday included a government-proposed bill intended to make it harder for failed asylum-seekers to avoid deportation or hide their true identity.

More than 200,000 failed asylum-seekers were required to leave Germany last year, but authorities managed to deport only about 25,000.

A separate bill passed by lawmakers will make it easier for skilled workers from non-EU citizens to come to Germany.

People with sufficient qualifications who speak German will in future be able to apply for six-month permits to hunt for jobs in to Germany. Previously, migrant workers from outside the EU had to show they had an employment contract before arriving in Germany.


3:30 p.m.

The U.N.'s refugee agency and the International Organization for Migration are urging the European Union to take urgent action to help migrants fleeing conflict-torn Libya or stuck in detention centers there.

In talks with EU interior ministers Friday, UNHCR chief Filippo Grandi and IOM Director General Antonio Vitorino called for "more urgency in the responses" to Libya's challenges.

They say "Libya is not a safe place for disembarkation given the appalling conditions in the detention centers to which people are transferred. More support is needed for those trapped."

The two lament that the EU still has no predictable method to provide migrant boats with safe harbor and share out the people aboard.

They say that "every boat adrift in the Mediterranean is further evidence that this simply cannot go on."

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