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German MPs approve plan to deter migrants from Georgia, 3 N. African nations

German lawmakers have approved a government plan to declare three North African nations and Georgia safe countries of origin. The move is meant to deter migrants from those countries and streamline the handling of asylum applications. Parliament’s Lower House on Friday voted 509-138, with four abstentions, to back declaring Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia and Georgia safe countries. However, the government’s plan requires approval by the Upper House, where the country’s 16 state governments are represented. Many of those governments include the opposition Greens, who object to declaring the North African countries safe. Currently, very few citizens of those countries obtain asylum. In 2017, the Upper House shot down a similar move.