Nearly two years ago, Europe’s refugee crisis hit Germany in full force. Dramatic daily television footage gave the impression of uncontrolled and unsustainable migration. In Berlin, thousands of refugees camped out in streets overnight waiting to get into registration offices and shelters.
In Germany and beyond, dire predictions spread of overloaded labor markets flooded with migrants, social benefits being plundered, government agencies overwhelmed and housing shortages.
But nearly two years on, the catastrophe everyone was waiting for never seemed to arrive.
Undoubtedly, there have been severe administrative bottlenecks over the past year, especially in the regional centers of immigration, where waiting times for processing asylum applications have increased. But the predicted social disaster has been largely averted in most German communities and regions, as the flow of refugees has tapered off.