55,000 migrants left Germany voluntarily in 2016
About 55,000 migrants who were not eligible for asylum or were refused it left Germany voluntarily between January and November 2016, up by 20,000 from the number who left voluntarily in 2015, a newspaper reported yesterday.
As The Guardian says, Germany has toughened its stance in recent months, prompted by concerns about security and integration after admitting more than 1.1 mln 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.
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.