German Bundesrat Challenges Efforts to Deport North African Asylum-Seekers

  • Umay Atik
  • 13.3.2017 14:44

The Bundesrat, rejected on 10 March a law approved by the Bundestag in May, which would classify Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia as safe countries of origin, making it easier to deport asylum-seekers from these countries if their applications are rejected. 

Germany has seen the greatest refugee influx in Europe, leading to increasing tensions in German society. The law was formulated in early 2016 by the government after sexual harassment of women by men of North African origin on New Year's Eve in Cologne. The terror attack in Berlin in December 2016 further exacerbated these tensions. Conservatives have toughened their stance on migration to increase their chances of re-election in September election. Germany repatriated 80,000 asylum-seekers last year and the number will increase in 2017, Merkel's Chief of Staff Peter Altmaier said in February. The Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) said almost 8,000 people from Maghreb states came to Germany in 2016, compared with approximately 34,000 in 2015. Last year, only 3.8%, 2.7% and 0.8% of asylum applications of refugees from Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia were approved.

About author: Umay Atik

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