Asylum Seekers’ Number Relentlessly Rising in Germany; Even Supporters Warn

The Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany (Photo by Ansgar Scheffold on Unsplash)

The Greens, who have so far been advocates for openness and migration,are newly calling for a crackdown on illegal asylum seekers in Germany. At the same time, far-right political party Alternative  for Germany (AfD) are on the rise in the Eastern part of the country.

On Monday, Green co-chair Ricarda Lang — whose party is usually known for representing a moderate stance on migration — criticized leaders from the other coalition partners for not doing enough to ensure that asylum seekers without a valid reason to stay, such as fleeing a warzone, are being sent back to their home countries, Brussels-based Politico writes.

German party politics and popular support are going through a shift and polarization. A poll published Tuesday showed that the anti-immigration Alternative for Germany party has become the strongest political force in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, making it the fourth eastern German state — after Brandenburg, Thuringia and Saxony — in which the far-right is leading in polls, raising the possibility that the AfD might, for the first time, win power at state level.

The Greens’ Lang lashed out at Interior Minister Nancy Faeser, who is from Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s Social Democratic Party (SPD), and Germany’s special envoy for immigration, Joachim Stamp from the liberal Free Democratic Party (FDP), saying that they must “finally make progress on repatriation agreements” with non-EU countries to facilitate the deportations. The government must act “to avoid more and more people arriving,” Lang said.

These unusual remarks from a senior Green politician come as the FDP of Finance Minister Christian Lindner on Monday adopted a position paper vowing to cut social payments for asylum seekers.

The FDP also wants to convince its coalition partners to declare Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria as “safe” countries of origin, which would make it easier to send asylum seekers from those countries back home.

These actions cameas migration numbers keep rising — in August alone, about 15100 illegal border crossings were registered, marking a 40 percent increase compared to July — and an increasing number of Germans are turning toward the AfD.

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier warned Wednesday that Germany “is at breaking point,” as 162 000 people applied for asylum in the country within the first half of the year. That’s “more than a third of all applications within the EU,” Steinmeier added in an interview with Italy’s Corriere della Sera.

While the AfD has not made a breakthrough at a state level, it took power at smaller district levels for the first time when it won a council election in Thuringia in June and notched up a mayoral election win in Saxony-Anhalt in July.

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