John Cody, Remix, September 13, 2022
After the travel restrictions due to the pandemic were lifted, migration pressure is noticeably increasing again in Germany, with some experts predicting that Germany may once again need to resort to housing migrants in hotels and gyms as seen during the height of the 2015/16 migrant crisis. Due to a large majority of German states blocking new refugees, some German politicians are now calling for a “refugee summit” to help coordinate during the crisis before it grows out of control.
Currently, the Balkan route is particularly affected, with significantly more people coming to Germany from Syria and Afghanistan, which are two groups known for their poor integration record. A leaked report from the German security services, which was made available to Die Welt, shows that illegal migration to Germany has increased by 47 percent this year. Meanwhile, in Austria, the number of illegal migrants is already comparable to 2015 numbers.
The dramatic increase in migration is putting a serious strain on German cities, with 12 out of 16 German states already blocking the acceptance of any more migrants and refugees, including from Ukraine. There are now calls for a refugee summit for states and municipalities to coordinate the distribution of migrants, including from the mayor of Münster, Markus Lewe, who belongs to the Christian Democratic Union (CDU).
Lewe said that during such a summit, a fair distribution of migrants must be discussed. He argued that the federal states would have to increase their absorption capacities and the federal government would have to intervene quickly in a coordinating manner. In his opinion, refugee distribution is simply no longer working.
Lewe predicted: “In the coming winter, a number of cities will again have to accommodate refugees in hotels, gymnasiums, or other facilities.” At the same time, there are simply not enough spots available in schools and kindergartens, putting a strain on Germany’s already overloaded education and daycare systems.
While 4,400 people entered Germany illegally in January, these numbers rose steadily month after month to 6,900 people in July. In total, 36,100 unauthorized entries have already been identified in the first half of this year. This is an increase of 47 percent compared to the previous year.
A spokeswoman for the Interior Ministry said that most people who travel to Germany illegally come to Germany via the Balkan region. Syrian, Afghan, Turkish, Iraqi and Tunisian nationals are the most common. “The increasing numbers are also due to further easing of the pandemic-related travel restrictions in Europe,” the Ministry of the Interior said.
The numbers are also increasing at the EU’s external borders. According to an internal analysis by the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex), also made available to Welt am Sonntag, a total of almost 35,000 unauthorized border-crossings at the EU and Schengen external borders were recorded in July.
The number of asylum applications has also increased this year. According to the EU asylum agency (EUAA), approximately 406,000 asylum applications were received in EU countries, Norway, and Switzerland (“EU+”) in the first half of 2022. Compared to the same period last year, this is an increase of 68 percent.