Thursday 29 December 2016

More Than 50,000 Asylum Seekers Left Germany In 2016


About 55,000 migrants who were not eligible for asylum or were refused it left Germany voluntarily bpetween January and November 2016, up by 20,000 from the number who left voluntarily in 2015, a newspaper reported yesterday.

Germany has toughened its stance in recent months, prompted by concerns about security and integration after admitting more than 1.1 million migrants since early 2015.

Last week a failed asylum seeker who had sworn allegiance to Islamic State killed 12 people when he rammed a truck into a Christmas market in Berlin, fuelling growing criticism of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s immigration policy.

The Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper quoted government data showing the number who returned to their homes in the first 11 months of the year. Most returned to Albania, Serbia, Iraq, Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iran, the newspaper said. Those leaving are eligible for one-off support of up to €3,000 (£2,550).

German security officials previously told Reuters that the number of those deported after their asylum requests were rejected rose to almost 23,800 from January to November – up from almost 20,900 in all of 2015.

There has also been a rise in the number of refugees turned away at the borders. A report by the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung daily said police had turned back 19,720 refugees in the first 11 months – up from 8,913 in all of 2015. Most were from Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq and Nigeria. They had been registered in other EU countries.

As public support for her pro-refugee policies wanes ahead of September’s federal election, Merkel has said it is vital to focus resources on those fleeing war, and to keep public support by deporting foreigners to countries where there is no persecution.

A string of attacks and security alerts involving refugees and migrants this year has boosted support for the anti-immigration Alternative for Germany party, which could damage Merkel’s re-election hopes.



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