Asylum crisis in Germany worsens as over 300,000 new claims made in 2023 so far

Dozens of people from all over the world line in front of the central registration center for asylum seekers in Berlin, Germany, Monday, Sept. 25, 2023. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
By Thomas Brooke
3 Min Read

Asylum claims made in Germany this year surpassed 300,000 in November, representing a 60 percent increase on last year’s figure with one month still to go.

Data published by the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) showed that 35,316 initial applications were submitted last month, taking the total for 2023 to 304,581 first-time applicants which rises to 325,801 when accounting for follow-up applications.

The figure does not include Ukrainian refugees of which over 1 million have arrived in Germany since the Russian invasion of Ukraine’s eastern territories in February last year.

The asylum crisis has deteriorated significantly this year with applications soaring by 60.3 percent from the 189,998 claims made in 2022.

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Of the tens of thousands to arrive last month, 61 percent were Syrian or Turkish citizens. Asylum claims from Turkey have surpassed those from Afghanistan despite the number of Afghan claims increasing by 53 percent.

A total of 55,354 first-time applications have been made by Turks so far this year. Despite just 14 percent of Turkish applications being accepted, only 345 failed asylum seekers were deported back to the country in the first half of the year, as reported by Die Welt newspaper.

The BAMF figures revealed the consistent demographic trend of over 80 percent of asylum applicants being males over the age of 16.

Political scientist Dr. Hans Helmut Horn also noted that a further 130,000 people are linked to asylum applications through family reunification laws.

The issues of asylum and immigration are leading the political debate in Germany as an increasing number of the electorate abandons the federal liberal coalition parties in favor of the CDU opposition and the right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD).

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State governments have repeatedly sounded the alarm on a lack of public services available to accommodate the growing number of new arrivals dependent on the state.

Late last month, Germany’s former most senior judge, Prof. Hans-Jürgen Papier, who served as president of the Federal Constitutional Court for eight years until 2010, claimed the country’s asylum laws were not fit for purpose and accused economic migrants of abusing Germany.

“We have another migration crisis,” Papier wrote in an op-ed for the Bild newspaper, claiming that “essentially nothing has changed” from the previous crisis of 2015.

“Many people come to our country from all parts of the world for clearly non-asylum reasons. The right to asylum is therefore being misused and, in many cases, applied for improperly in Germany,” he noted.

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