Interior Minister,Thomas de Maiziere, said Wednesday that the number of migrants leaving Germany is on the rise, with about 100,000 deportations or voluntary departures expected this year.
Slow progress in getting unsuccessful asylum applicants to leave the country has caused a fierce debate within Chancellor Angela Merkel’s governing coalition.
The total number of rejected asylum seekers who remain in the country stood at 219,000 at the end of March, mass circulation newspaper Bild reported Wednesday, citing an Interior Ministry report.
The report states that a “lack of political will to implement asylum laws,” “very poor staffing at migration agencies,” and a “lack of cooperation from those obliged to leave the country,” are responsible for the sluggish rate of returns.
The report also says the lengthy process of deportation allows “those obliged to leave the country time to go underground.”
Kai Wegner, a lawmaker from Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU), said Wednesday that deportations should be accelerated by centralizing the process.
He charged that some Social Democrat-led regional governments were failing to enforce departures.
Germany’s open-door migration policies resulted in the arrival of 1.1 million migrants in 2015.
The arrivals slowed earlier this year as central European governments began to seal off the Western Balkan route.