The number of asylum seekers seeking protection in Germany is increasing again. This has nothing to do with the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine.
In Germany, more people applied for asylum last year than at any time since 2016. The annual statistics published by the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (Bamf) for 2022 show that from the beginning of January to the end of December, 217,774 people made such a request for protection in Germany for the first time. That was almost 47 percent more than in the previous year.
Most new asylum seekers last year came from Syria (70,976), Afghanistan (36,358), Turkey (23,938), Iraq and Georgia.
In 2016, the number of requests for protection reached a high of 722,370 initial applications. In the years that followed, the number of asylum seekers fell steadily. According to experts, the fact that it rose again in 2021 was also due to catch-up effects as a result of the strict travel restrictions in the 2020 corona pandemic.
According to the information, 24,791 of the initial applications last year in Germany were for children under the age of one year. The approximately one million war refugees from Ukraine who were admitted to Germany last year did not have to apply for asylum. You receive immediate temporary protection on the basis of an EU directive.
Together with 26,358 follow-up applications received by the Bamf in 2022, 244,132 applications were registered in the year as a whole. The Federal Ministry of the Interior announced that the Federal Office decided on the applications of 228,673 people last year. In 17 percent of the cases, protection status was granted on the basis of the Geneva Refugee Convention. Asylum according to the provisions of the Basic Law was recognized for 1,937 applicants, which is less than one percent of all cases.
“Integrated from the start”
Around one in four asylum seekers received what is known as subsidiary protection. A ban on deportation was found in around 13 percent of the asylum procedures. Just over every fifth application (21.6 percent) was rejected. 22.3 percent of the asylum applications have been dealt with in some other way – for example by being transferred to another responsible EU country or because the application has been withdrawn.
The number of applications submitted to the Bamf rose steadily in the second half of last year. According to the Federal Office, the fact that it fell slightly again in December has nothing to do with a decrease in the number of people seeking protection, but was rather a consequence of the corona pandemic, which had led to high sick leave in many authorities.
“We have taken numerous measures to better control and organize migration to Germany,” said Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD). She referred to the extension of the temporary stationary border controls in Bavaria on the border with Austria and the intensified manhunt on the border with the Czech Republic. An action plan has been agreed with Switzerland that provides for joint controls on Swiss trains and at the border. Efforts to get Serbia to change its visa practice have already had an impact.
“We are also strengthening the consistent return of rejected asylum seekers,” she added. With great commitment, the Bamf succeeded in increasing the number of decisions on asylum applications by more than 50 percent compared to the previous year. Faeser emphasized that the new federal government would ensure “integration right from the start”. Unlike in the past, access to integration courses no longer depends on the individual asylum seeker’s prospects of staying.
CDU politician: “Traffic light does nothing to limit illegal migration”
The Union faction draws a different conclusion. Her domestic policy spokesman, Alexander Throm (CDU), said: “Irregular migration to Germany has again reached a peak and the traffic light is doing nothing to limit it.” Among other things, through “generous residence rights for people who should actually be deported”, the federal government is sending the wrong signals and is thus taking “a lonely special path” within Europe.
Clara Bünger (left) said with regard to the increased number of asylum applications: “People around the world are being driven to flee by political repression, wars, the consequences of climate change and poverty that threatens their very existence.” It is therefore not surprising that the number of asylum applications has now increased.
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