Migrants sit in a boat during a rescue operation by Italian navy off the coast of Sicily on Nov. 28, 2013. Italy is looking to revamp the way it handles the hundreds of thousands of migrants who arrive annually.
With mild weather ahead, southern Europe is once again bracing for new boatloads of would-be migrants and asylum seekers from North Africa.
Italy has borne the brunt of this migrant flow for two decades and it has responded with one of Europe's most repressive laws on illegal immigration.
But now the Italian parliament is trying to scrap a law that has made migrants vulnerable to exploitation and human rights abuses. The existing law has also produced detention camps where undocumented migrants are held in harsh conditions.
On a cold, blustery day at Port Elizabeth in New Jersey, one of several massive cranes whirs along a rail high above the pier, picks up a heavy container from a ship's deck and loads it on a waiting truck back on land. The truck drives away, another arrives and the whole process starts again.
It's a scene played out every day along America's coasts as massive container ships from across the globe pull into deep-water seaports, waiting to be unloaded. The ships are enormous — some 10 stories high and several football fields long.