Refugee Crisis

Chancellor Must Act on Deportations

Flüchtlinge an der griechisch-mazedonischen Grenze
Refugees poured into Germany last year.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    As support for refugees erodes in much of Germany, the government’s failure to deport many failed asylum seekers has become a political liability.

  • Facts


    • About 890,000 refugees entered Germany last year, mostly Syrians. The original, widely discussed figure of 1.1 million was revised by the German government in September after discounting double registrations and refugees who moved to other countries.
    • This year, more than 220,000 people were obligated to leave Germany by the end of May. However, only 11,300 deportations were carried out.
    • In the first three quarters of this year, 216,000 refugees have sought asylum in Germany. But the Ministry of the Interior still grapples with a heavy backlog and many asylum applications are still being processed.
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There is no lack of strong language concerning the deportation of rejected asylum seekers. Chancellor Angela Merkel recently called for an “act of national exertion.”

Passing the buck back and forth between the federal and state governments doesn’t help because citizens want to see results, not words. But whoever attentively follows the debate finds confirmation for the dwarfish stature of this constitutional democracy.

This is already true with the fine legal distinction between deportation and expulsion. Whoever thinks that is merely hairsplitting among legal experts is mistaken. There is a great difference with regard to whether an applicant who has been refused asylum must ultimately leave Germany or not.

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