130,000 refugees vanished after being registered in Germany – media report

© Michaela Rehle
Some 13 percent of all migrants who officially entered Germany in 2015 never turned up at the accommodation provided for them, Süddeutsche Zeitung reported Thursday. The news comes as Berlin tightens laws on asylum seekers.

The newspaper’s report is based on Germany’s Federal Interior Ministry’s official response to a request filed by the Left Party. The ministry provided two explanations for the phenomenon: the refugees either continued their journey to another European country or choose to live illegally within Germany.

According to Frank-Jürgen Weise, the head of Germany's Federal Office for Migration (BAMF), there are as many as 400,000 asylum seekers within the country who have no ID documents and German authorities have proven unable to identify them, the head of the BAMF agency said in Berlin on Thursday.

Last year, Berlin was unable to expel all illegal aliens to the country responsible for them, which according to the Dublin Regulation is the EU state a refugee first entered.

Only one in 10 asylum seekers was returned to the country from which they entered Germany, and in 2014 it was one in five refugees.

The reluctance of other European states to take back the refugees is understandable: Greece alone has witnessed a 21-fold growth in immigrants in one year.

Out of the total of 45,000 so-called “takeover requests,” Germany filed to other states in 2015, only about 3,600 have been completed. At the same time, other EU states have “returned” to Germany some 3,000 asylum seekers, thus making the number of refugees that German authorities managed to distribute to other European states to mere 600, a tiny drop in the ocean of migrants that poured into Germany last year.

Germany has welcomed an estimated 1.1 million refugees in 2015, mostly from the Middle East and Northern Africa, of which about a half are either without official documents or have disappeared.

On Thursday, the Bundestag adopted new legislation, tightening asylum regulations. On Friday, German upper house of parliament, the Bundesrat, is set to hold a final vote on legislation aimed at making the influx of migrants more manageable.

The new laws would facilitate deportation in the event that Germany does not recognize an asylum claim. The rules for family unification are going to be stricter, too, with asylum seekers now having to live two years in Germany before being given the right to invite their family members to join them.