‘1,000 deportations a day’: Merkel ally calls for tougher anti-refugee line

© Fabrizio Bensch
The secretary-general of Angela Merkel’s CDU party made an unusually harsh call to toughen rules for asylum seekers, proposing that German states deport 1,000 asylum seekers daily, as the number of refugees arriving in the country is “too big.”

“If on average one in two [asylum] applications is decided negatively, then the federal states have a duty to deport 1,000 rejected asylum seekers every day,” Peter Tauber, Secretary-General of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), told the Rheinische Post newspaper in an interview.

Linking the refugee issue with the New Year’s Eve sexual assaults on women that took place in Cologne and other German cities, Tauber said he was sure some refugees were among the offenders. “We must react to that,” he said.

He said the CDU was working on a step-by-step policy to reduce the number of refugees, though promising not every refugee would be affected: “Hundreds of thousands gratefully receive help, learn German and want to integrate,” Tauber said. “And those who don’t do so and lose their chance will be then told: ‘You can’t stay here!’”

Tauber also went on to cite approximate figures to back up his proposals. “[The number of refugees] is indeed smaller than in November, with 10,000 [asylum applications] each day,” he said. “We must prevent the numbers from growing again in March. But it’s clear even 3,000 [applications] a day we’ve seen over the course of a year, that's still too many.”

Tauber added that there should be zero tolerance for those who come to Germany and commit crimes or fail to integrate, voicing support for the proposed ban on wearing burqas in public places.

“In our society no woman must be protected from a man looking on. Each burqa is a sign of failed integration. We do not want this," he said.

German authorities are imposing stricter rules on granting asylum as well as tougher policies for asylum seekers and refugees. The changes have come in the days after crimes – including sexual assaults on women – allegedly committed by a number of foreigners in Cologne over New Year’s.

On Saturday, Chancellor Merkel, who is under fire for her “open door” policy, announced Germany will speed up deportation procedures, including in cases when those deported face trial or coercion in their home countries.

"If people act outside the law... there must be consequences. That means that they [refugees who commit crimes] can lose their residence right away, regardless of whether they have a suspended sentence or a prison sentence," Merkel said in Mainz.Merkel said the proposed measures would be discussed with her government’s coalition partners before being introduced for parliamentary approval.