More than a million refugees fleeing war and poverty in the Middle East and Africa poured into Germany over the past two years. Now many of them will be encouraged – or ordered – to return home soon under a raft of measures proposed by Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition government.
The chancellor will meet Thursday with the premiers of Germany’s 16 states to discuss a 16-point plan to expedite the departure of those who fail to meet asylum criteria.
Of the nearly 696,000 asylum cases decided last year, around 262,000 were rejected. These migrants will need to leave Germany, but sending them home and encouraging others to voluntarily return has proven challenging.