A slide of migratory flows in the Mediterranean Sea from the Mare Nostrum operation is displayed in the control room of the Italian operation, which tracks and intercepts migrant ships en route to Europe. Sylvia Poggioli/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Sylvia Poggioli/NPR

Migrants arrive in Valletta, the Maltese capital, aboard a patrol boat on Oct. 12, a day after their boat sank, killing more than 30 people, mostly women and children — just the latest deadly migrant tragedy to hit the Mediterranean. Despite Europe's financial crisis illegal immigrants continue to attempt to enter Europe through its southern coastal countries as they seek a better life. AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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A survivor of the shipwreck of migrants off the Italian island of Lampedusa looks out over the water Tuesday. The tragedy has bought fresh questions over the thousands of asylum-seekers who arrive in Europe by boat each year. Tullio M. Puglia/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Tullio M. Puglia/Getty Images