Decline in Migrant Arrivals in Germany in Early 2017April 25, 2017 in Uncategorized
Figures released this month have indicated that the number of people applying for asylum in Germany has dropped steeply, a sign that an agreement between the European Union (EU) and Turkey to stem the flow of migrants is working.
According to the interior ministry, around 47,300 people arrived in Germany between January and March 2017, noting that most were from Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria. During the same period a year ago, 60,000 applied for asylum. The German office for migration and refugees ruled on 222,395 asylum applications from January to March. About half of the individuals were allowed to stay in the country for the time being and only a fifth were granted full refugee status. Migrants who arrive in Germany are first registered at reception centres, where they have to wait for months before they can file an asylum application, which creates a huge backlog. The ministry had disclosed that at the end of March, there were still 278,000 outstanding applications that needed to be processed.
In the past two years, the huge influx of migrants to Germany has impacted Chancellor Angela Merkel’s popularity ahead of national elections due to take place in September. It has also fuelled the rise of the anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD) party. The AfD however has seen its support plunge in polls since the sharp slowdown in the flow of migrants after the deal between the EU and Ankara was reached a year ago.