Germany needs to start deporting illegal immigrants much more regularly and effectively, Chancellor Olaf Scholz has claimed amid a dramatic rise in illegal immigration into the country.
The leader of the liberal federal coalition government toed a more radical line in a recent interview with Germany’s Der Spiegel news website as his Social Democratic Party (SPD) continues to falter in the latest polls, languishing in third place behind the center-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD).
“We must finally deport in large numbers those who have no right to be in Germany,” Scholz told the website.
The German chancellor, however, reiterated his robust defense of the country’s need for mass legal migration, citing Germany’s aging labor pool.
According to German police, more than 21,000 people entered Germany illegally last month, the highest figure since February 2016 when the previous major migration crisis ended, reported Deutsche Welle.
The monthly total of unlawful new arrivals had been steadily increasing throughout the year. So far, a total of 92,000 illegal migrants have arrived in Germany during 2023, and those are the ones the authorities know about. It is not implausible for this figure to exceed the 112,000 illegal immigrants who were detected entering the country in 2016.
German politics has been abuzz with the many social and economic aspects of illegal migration and immigration. Beyond the AfD, which is riding this wave, all parties, including the German left-wing governing parties, which have long been in favor of freer migration, are now beginning to address the issue.
The German chancellor said that a number of measures must be taken to improve the situation, including better protection of the EU’s external borders, including Germany’s own borders. Germany has already started to reintroduce border controls with Austria, Czechia Poland, and Switzerland as a result of rising numbers.
The opposition CDU is also addressing this issue: Party leader Friedrich Merz has come up with a 26-point list of demands, including a maximum limit of 200,000 people per year for legal immigration.
“If we want to maintain social cohesion in the country, we have to solve this problem now,” Merz said. The CDU president therefore called for a “German migration pact” to limit illegal immigration.