Germany has dramatically stepped up the number of deportations this year as the nation struggles to come to grips with a refugee crisis.
By the end of November, 18,363 unsuccessful asylum applicants were deported compared with 10,994 for the whole of 2014, according to Ministry of Interior information in the hands of dpa.
The southern state of Bavaria, which has been at the frontline of the refugee crisis, alone returned 3,643 to their homelands between January and the end of November. This was three times the 1,007 people deported by the state in 2014.
The number of refugees entering Germany is expected to surge to more than 1 million this year with Europe's biggest economy having emerged as the main destination in the EU for asylum seekers, many fleeing wars in the Middle East and Africa.
Bavaria, which is the first point of entry for a large number of the refugees, has also spearheaded calls for Chancellor Angela Merkel to place an upper limit on the numbers of migrants crossing into the nation.
Deportations from the state of Hesse in central Germany also tripled this year to 2,306, while those returned to their country of origin from Baden-Wuerttemberg doubled to 2,140, according to the ministry's information. The number of deportations was less from other states.
The German parliament agreed in October to tighten up the country's asylum laws, paving the way for a more rapid processing of applications and quicker decisions on the repatriation of migrants who do not qualify for asylum.
Under the package of measures, Albania, Kosovo and Montenegro have now been defined as "safe countries" in order to speed up the process of sending back asylum seekers from the west Balkans.
Leading German politicians also called on Monday for the European authorities to introduce new measures to guard against the threat of refugees with stolen or forged passports entering the EU.
Their calls followed a warning from the EU-border agency Frontex about the number of forged or stolen Syrian passports, which were likely to be in the hands of terrorist group Islamic State.
"We need as quickly as possible to ensure the complete the registration of all people arriving in Europe," the chairman of the parliamentary interior committee, Ansgar Heveling, told newspapers of the German Funke media group.
Burkhard Lischka, a member of the centre-left Social Democrats, also told the Funke group that the authorities needed to make individual assessments of Syrian refugees entering Germany and to assemble details of the serial numbers of stolen passports.
Tuesday, December 22, 2015 - 17:11