Germany sees 14 percent drop in asylum claims
Last year, 111,094 people applied for asylum in Germany - a drop of 14.3 percent compared to the previous year.
Government figures show 8,534 fewer applications for asylum were submitted in 2019 than in the previous year when 129,628 claims were made.
The Interior Ministry said the number of asylum seekers in Germany had decreased for the third year in a row. "This shows that the measures taken in recent years by the government are effective against unregulated immigration," Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said.
The figures focus on "cross-border asylum applications" – these are people who apply for asylum after entering Germany. Most of the applicants come from Syria (26,453 applications). The countries of origin Iraq (10,894 applications) and Turkey (10,275 applications) are almost equal in terms of the figures. Iran follows with 7,778 applications.
The number of claims made for children born in Germany, who are under a year old, are listed separately.
A total of 31,415 applications for youngsters under the age of one were filed. In addition, 23,429 people who were already in Germany before 2019 submitted asylum applications.
In December 2019, 6,771 cross-border asylum applications were submitted to the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees BAMF. Compared to the previous month, the number had dropped by 17.2 percent.
183,954 applications decided on
In 2019, BAMF decided on the applications of 183,954 asylum seekers. This is 32,919 fewer than in 2018, a drop of 15.2 percent.
A total of 45,053 people have been granted refugee status. And 19,419 people were granted a restricted, so-called subsidiary protection status.
Applications were rejected in the case of 54,034 asylum seekers. Several applications were "dealt with elsewhere", according to the government. This includes when a procedure is discontinued because the claim has been withdrawn.
A total of 5,857 people were issued with deportation bans.
Die Linke (The Left) slammed the government over the latest figures. "The number of refugees worldwide is rising, but fewer and fewer people are making it to Germany to seek protection," said interior expert Ulla Jelpke.
This is not reassuring news, Jelpke said, who added that many refugees are living in "miserable conditions" in EU countries.
"Germany must fulfil its international obligations and, for example, relieve overstretched European first-reception countries," said Jelpke.