A survey carried out by Insa shows that 58 percent of Germans said they supported the idea of allowing rejected asylum seekers to remain in the country if they were integrating well, Bild reported on Tuesday evening.
Only 31 percent said that they were against the proposals, and would prefer that all those whose asylum claims had been rejected were deported.
The survey comes after weeks of political debate over a rule change suggested by CDU politician Daniel Günther.
Willingness to integrate the decisive factor
Günther, an ally of Chancellor Angela Merkel, had argued that those asylum seekers who were already in work or education should be allowed to stay, even if they had their claims rejected. He pointed to complaints from employers who had spent time and money on hard-working employees, only to later see them deported.
The proposals were quickly backed by the Greens and the social democratic SPD, but were met with resistance from within Günther’s own party.
The new survey, which covered over 3,000 respondents over a five-day period in the last week, appears to show that the German public are broadly behind Günther’s suggestions.
“The willingness to integrate on the part of asylum seekers is the decisive factor for most Germans when deciding whether or not they are for or against deportations,” said Insa chief executive Hermann Binkert.
Only four percent of the respondents said that they were fundamentally opposed to deportations, while 89 percent said that rejected asylum seekers who do not integrate should be deported.