A Syrian couple who were celebrated in the media for naming their child Angela Merkel after migrating to Germany have had their asylum application rejected.
The child was born shortly after arriving in Germany and her parents, Tema and Mamon Al-Hamza, chose the name as they wished to personally thank the German chancellor, who they perceived as inviting them.
However, as the family prepared to celebrate little Angela’s first birthday, they received a disappointing letter from the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF).
It informed them they are only being offered “subsidiary protection” in Germany, meaning although they cannot be deported for the time being, they are barred from bringing their family over to the prosperous European nation, Bild reports.
Just this week, a top German court ruled that not all Syrians arriving in the nation are automatically entitled to full asylum status, as they may not necessarily be politically persecuted if they return to Syria.
The judges said there was no reason to suspect the Syrian government was actively persecuting the general population, and only Syrians who could prove they were in danger could stay indefinitely.
For the Al-Hamza family, the decision means they will initially be able to stay in Germany for one year, after which they may stay longer if they meet certain conditions, such as making a sufficient livelihood and learning enough German.
Thousands of disgruntled Syrians who have been offered subsidiary protection have taken legal action against the German government.
Around 17,000 migrants sued after not being offered full asylum status, with more than 90 per cent winning their case. However, the recent court ruling is likely to change this.
Of the 30,000 who have made complaints against BAMF so far, some 2,600 have been successful.
In August, it was reported that a further 6,000 migrants were suing the German government because they say that their asylum claims are taking too long to process.