Immigration For Members

What Germany's states want to change about migration rules

James Jackson
James Jackson - [email protected]
What Germany's states want to change about migration rules
The Chancellery before the start of Monday's migration summit. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Kay Nietfeld

Germany's government met with state leaders on Monday at a summit in Berlin where it is hoped they will reach a breakthrough on the issue of migration. Local authorities say they are overwhelmed and lack funds.


Representatives of Germany’s national government are meeting today with the country’s federal states at a summit in Berlin to talk about the hot-button issue of migration.

The states, or “Länder” in German, are demanding more money and support in hosting asylum seekers.

According to official figures, there are over one million Ukrainian citizens in Germany, which the states say is putting strain on their limited resources, with complaints from state leaders that federal funding isn’t enough to continue accommodating and caring for them.

Between January and September this year over a quarter of a million people registered for asylum in Germany, more than in the whole of 2021, although only reaching around a third of the numbers that arrived in 2015 and 2016.

In mid-October, the states came together to demanded a flat sum of €1.25 billion and just over ten thousand euros per asylum seeker, as well as the federal government paying for accommodation.

A survey of local districts said four in ten of them were “overwhelmed” by the current demand, with six in ten responding that it was “challenging but (still) doable”.

"A large number of cities and municipalities have long since exceeded their limits in terms of accommodation, supply and integration. At the same time, the number of immigrants continues to rise and so do the costs," says Gerd Landsberg, general manager of the German Association of Cities and Municipalities.

Hendrik Wüst, moderate conservative state leader of Germany’s most populous region North Rhine-Westphalia, called the government’s current offer “politely speaking, completely unacceptable” pointing out that more arrivals require more money.

Stricter rules

As well questions of funding, they will also be discussing the rules around migration.

READ MORE: Germany's migration laws changing this September

A survey by the tabloid Bild found that a majority of Germans want changes to the country’s migrations laws, with 63 percent wanting more deportations and 55 percent wanting asylum seekers to be given payment cards instead of money.


Chancellor Olaf Scholz met with opposition leader Friedrich Merz, long a proponent of stricter rules on migration, and a top Bavarian politician on Friday, where the conservatives suggested a twenty point program mostly about asylum laws.

The meeting was reported as going well, which could be a sign that the Chancellor was willing to listen to their suggestions and may implement stricter rules.

Those states governed by the conservative Christian Democrats (CDU/CSU) or centre-right Free Democrats (FDP) have suggested that instead of cash transfers, asylum seekers should receive payment cards to buy every day goods, comparable to the US’ food stamps program.


Some states such as Bavaria have requested a general reduction of funds for refugees to make Germany less of an attractive destination compared to other EU countries.


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