The German government is preparing to speed up the deportation of people who are not eligible for refugee asylum, according to media reports.
The measures, which would involve the military for the first time in the country’s crisis, was first reported by the German newspaper Bild.
Pilots from the German military and Transall military transport aircraft would be used to man extra flights, according to Bild, which attributed the information to sources close to the federal and state governments. The defense ministry denied knowledge of the plan, saying German states are in charge of repatriation.
If true, refugees may no longer be warned in advance of their pending deportations, the newspaper reported, and could be sent back year round, rather than only in temperate months as is currently the case, the report said.
The German government is planning to set up transit zones, which would be areas along the country’s borders where asylum seekers must stay while their applications are processed before entering the country. Germany wants to sign agreements with more countries to speed the repatriation process. Under the new rules, Germany may also move to restrict a refugee’s right to contest a denied asylum application.
Germany is struggling to cope with the flood of refugees fleeing war and poverty, and so far, the government expects to accept up to 800,000 this year, far more than any country in Europe or the United States.
The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, is increasingly under fire for refusing to set a numerical limit on the number of refugees Germany will accept. A survey of German business executives conducted by Handelsblatt reveals that most executives do not support Ms. Merkel’s open-ended refugee policy.
Concern is mounting in Germany over how to house all of the refugees and deal with the lengthy delays in processing them. According to the Bild report, the government will deal with one aspect of the refugee crisis in each cabinet meeting.
Germany’s federal states are responsible for deportations but so far have sent only a small portion of people denied asylum back to their home countries, for varying reasons.