The German Federal Ministry of the Interior has announced new statistics showing that the country received 186,644 asylum applications in 2017.
The Ministry of the Interior released the figures this week as the grand coalition talks between the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) led by Chancellor Angela Merkel and the Social Democrats have focused on a potential upper limit for asylum seekers.
While the figures have gone down considerably from 2015 in which 890,000 migrants came seeking asylum in Germany, the origin countries have remained more or less the same, Die Welt reports.
The largest number of asylum seekers, some 47,434 individuals, came from Syria, which has consistently been the largest source of asylum seekers since 2015. The second largest number of migrants came from Iraq, followed by Afghanistan, and Eritrea.
The Federal Office for Asylum and Refugees (BAMF) were able to make asylum decisions in 603,428 individual cases in 2017 returning the agency to levels of pending cases not seen since 2013.
Federal Minister of Interior Thomas de Maizière commented on the progress of BAMF, which had previously been severely backlogged due to the influx or arrivals in 2015 and 2016, saying: “The Federal Office for Migration and Refugees is no longer busy dealing with the consequences of the crisis.”
Merkel Ally: Deportation of Quarter of a Million Failed Asylum Seekers ‘Almost Impossible’ https://t.co/KApU0ZeBV3
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) August 13, 2017
In 2017, 38.5 per cent of the asylum cases were rejected, though whether or not the failed asylum seekers will be deported remains unclear as Germany has had difficulty even deporting criminal failed asylum seekers in recent months.
Failed asylum seekers have been a subject of controversy since December of 2016 when failed Tunisian asylum seeker Anis Amri killed a dozen people by ramming a truck through the Berlin Christmas market. Reports later came out showing authorities had the opportunity to deport him a full month before the terrorist attack.
Failed asylum seekers have also been involved in other high profile cases like the rape of a jogger in Bavaria in September, the murder of a Romanian prostitute that same month, and the murder of a two-year-old girl in October.