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24 Mar, 2019 16:50

‘Small city’ of migrants apply for asylum, but most do not qualify – German migration boss

‘Small city’ of migrants apply for asylum, but most do not qualify – German migration boss

Only 35 percent of migrants arriving in Germany qualify for asylum, while the remainder lack valid reasons, have no documentation or use forged IDs, the head of the country’s migration service said.

“Too many people without a reason for asylum” arrive in the country, Hans-Eckhard Sommer, who is in charge of BAMF (Federal Office for Migration and Refugees), complained in an interview with the Welt am Sonntag paper.

With its lavish welfare programs, Germany had been the dream destination for refugees from the Middle East and North Africa since the massive migrant crisis broke out in Europe in 2015. The country took in around one million refugees that year, with influx still remaining high for years later.

We registered 162,000 asylum applications last year. It's like a big city that comes to us every year.

Only 56,700 (35 percent) of those applications were approved, with the remaining 105,300 rejected due to being groundless, Sommer  added.

However, the official spoke out against the idea of limiting the quantity of submitted applications by a certain number. “If someone comes with a legitimate asylum reason, then we must recognize it. It’s can’t be all about statistics.”

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Another problem is that 54 percent of those who seek asylum in Germany fail to submit their identity documents, Sommer said.

And those, who do, often carry EU papers that “actually belong to another person” and were stolen or obtained some other way. “In some cases, counterfeits are used. This is a difficult challenge,” he added.

Migrants are a dividing issue in German society. While many locals welcome the newcomers, the others accuse them of an unwillingness to adapt to European lifestyle and the rising crime rate. Such views have propelled the anti-migrant Alternative for Germany (AfD) to the third-largest party in the country, with 91 seats in the parliament and thousands flocking to the rallies its stages.

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