The number of asylum seekers and refugees in Germany has more than doubled in two years according to the latest figures from the Federal Statistics Office, but the nation is struggling to keep track of all the new arrivals.
At the end of 2016 the number of people seeking asylum had hit 1.6 million, a rise of 113 per cent compared to the end of 2014. The figure is likely to have risen even further since.
German newspaper Handelsblatt reports the breakdown of the 1.6 million figure, with 872,000 holding a “humanitarian residence permit”, and 158,000 in the country despite having had their asylum applications rejected. Of those, 75 per cent were given a “tolerance” — suspending the requirement for them to leave the country.
In addition to those who had decisions made on their asylum status, there were another 573,000 whose applications for asylum hadn’t been ruled upon at all.
Yet the 1.6 million figure could be even higher as the agency had excluded some 392,000 individuals for whom it was not clear whether they were asylum seekers or not.
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) January 3, 2017
Of those arrivals who came in 2016, nearly two-thirds are men, while the largest foreign groups came from Syria, Afghanistan, and Iraq.
The figures are further complicated by the admission of the Federal Ministry for the Interior, as reported by Welt, that many of the migrants who have their asylum applications rejected and are supposed to be deported instead disappear. While there is no clear figure of how many people may have vanished this way — a legacy of Germany’s chaotic handling of the migrant crisis — German press state is could be as high as 30,000.
Despite the apparently large numbers of people involved, according to the statistical bureau, the 1.6 million migrants seeking protection in Germany constituted just 16 per cent of all foreigners in the country, in which one in five of all residents are from a foreign background.
Breitbart London reported on the migration landmark in October as the number of foreign residents in Germany hit 18.6 million, with some German regions reaching as high as 30.5 per cent non-German.