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Cost ‘Explosion’ for Care of Unaccompanied Migrant Minors

Local authorities in Germany have sounded the alarm on a “cost explosion” of unaccompanied migrant minors.

The German Federation of Municipal Authorities has argued that the significantly increasing cost of the minors’ “all-round care” means a change in approach to standards will be necessary.

Each unaccompanied minor costs €3,000 to €5,000 per month, and German municipalities are estimated to already be spending around €2.7 billion on young migrants, numbering at more than 65,000 currently in the country.

The association’s chief executive, Gerd Landsberg, told the Rheinische Post that the cost of unaccompanied migrant minors has “exploded”, and proposed a “more focused” plan for the youths that would lower the cost of care for municipalities.

Giving an example of how he believed the care could be better targeted, Mr. Landsberg said it “makes no sense” for every migrant youth to receive the same around-the-clock care from social workers that is deemed necessary for “maladjusted” young people.

Responding to Mr. Landsberg and the Federation of Municipal Authorities’ plans, the German Children’s Fund warned of a “two-tier” child and youth welfare scheme. Holger Hofmann, the federal director of the fund, criticised the idea of cost reductions and demanded that the standards “must apply equally to all children in Germany, regardless of their origin or residence status”.

Hofmann said the migrant children represented “one of the most vulnerable groups of people ever” and said municipalities must ensure their “special needs” are met.

The German Taxpayers Federation, which aims to reduce the amount of taxation and public spending in the country, noted that the cost of care and integration in different areas would differ widely.

Reiner Holznagel, the Federation’s president, said the lack of official figures is “unacceptable” and that migrant costs should be transparent at all state levels.

A comment under the story on the Rheinische Post expressed disbelief that the migrants are in serious need of care, having managed to walk hundreds of kilometres through the Balkans alone. The person suggested that older migrants could show “solidarity and responsibility” for the wellbeing of unaccompanied migrant minors in Germany.

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