German Migration Head: Asylum Application Numbers ‘Too High’

Hans-Eckhard Sommer, designated leader of the German Office for Migrants and Refugees (Bundesamt fuer Migration und Fluechltinge, BAMF), gives a joint press conference with the German Interior Minister on June 20, 2018 in Berlin. - Sommer will replace Jutta Cordt, who was sacked by German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer before. …

The head of Germany’s Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) has claimed that despite the reduction in asylum numbers since 2015, the number of new applications is still too high.

BAMF chief Hans-Eckhard Sommer noted that Germany was still receiving asylum seekers on a huge scale saying, “We registered 162,000 asylum applications last year — which is comparable to a big city that comes to us every year,” Deutsche Welle reports.

Sommer also added that the vast majority of those coming to Germany seeking asylum had not received an approved claim with only 35 per cent gaining some form of asylum status. “We see very clearly that many people come here without having a reason for asylum,” he said.

The idea of an “upper limit” for asylum applications has been pushed by the leader of the Bavarian Christian Social Union (CSU) Horst Seehofer since the 2015 crisis and demanded that the country has a limit of 200,000 asylum applications per year.

The upper limit was later included in the grand coalition deal last year when the CSU and German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) formed a government with the left-wing Social Democrats (SPD).

The BAMF chief said that he agreed with the upper limit in principle but did not want to set any sort of absolute target for the number of asylum applications per year saying, “If someone comes for a legitimate asylum reason, then we must also recognise this and cannot be solely statistical.”

Another major problem Germany has faced in recent years has been the number of asylum seekers arriving in the country without any travel documents or other forms of identification.

In 2018, it was revealed that at least 200,000 migrants had entered Germany without any form of identification since 2014 with  125,408 coming during the height of the crisis the following year.

Last year, Mr Sommer said that around 54 per cent of the asylum claims received were by individuals who had no identification papers, as well.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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