The border fence between Morocco and Spain's North African exclave of Ceuta. Photo: Jorge Guerrero/AFP/Getty Images

A 20-foot high barbed wire fence and 1,100 police officers in the city of Ceuta — which belongs to Spain despite its place on Africa's northern coast, bordering Morocco — is all that separates migrants from dreams of asylum in Europe, writes Rod Norland for The New York Times.

The big picture: Spain has become a destination of choice for asylum-seekers now that Italy and Malta have shut their doors to new migrants. Efforts to cross Spain's borders have quadrupled in 2018 — with more than 3,300 migrants reaching Spanish soil in August alone. But, because of the especially dangerous currents in the Strait of Gibraltar, hundreds of migrants from all over the continent have taken to "mobbing" the fence in Ceuta, where a chance to travel to the European mainland could await them on the other side.

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