EU to agree crack down on people refused asylum or residency

BRUSSELS (AP) — European Union countries are working on an agreement to crack down on migrants who have been refused entry into the bloc so they can be swiftly sent home.

A key issue will be to ensure there are tougher measures to put those who have to leave in pre-departure detention to make sure they don't disappear to live illegally in EU nations.

According to a draft statement seen by The Associated Press, EU interior ministers at a meeting in Luxembourg will sign off on an agreement that states, "all measures must be taken to ensure irregular migrants' effective return," including the use of detention "as a legitimate measure of last resort."

More than 500,000 people have arrived in Europe this year seeking sanctuary or jobs, sparking the EU's biggest refugee emergency in decades.

But of people who fail to obtain asylum or residency, less than 40 percent actually go back.

While the EU has common rules for asylum and returning people not permitted to stay, they have not been enforced consistently.