A German city will no longer allow refugees to settle there as it feels overwhelmed with the “exceptionally high immigration” in recent years.
Salzgitter in the state of Lower Saxony is home to 106,000 people and a few thousand migrants. The city was granted permission to ban refugees from settling there Thursday by the state’s interior ministry. Authorities cited “reasons of integration” in its decision.
“This is an exceptional measure aimed at preventing the social and societal exclusion of immigrant refugees,” the decree reads, according to The Local.
The town’s mayor said 5,800 migrants live in the community, with a majority arriving over the past year.
“At the moment we are overwhelmed,” Frank Klingebiel told Focus Online in an interview published Friday.
The ban is not a meant to make refugees feel unwelcome, but rather give the existing refugee population a chance to integrate, according to Klingebiel.
“We urgently need a pause to integrate the refugees already living in Salzgitter in the long term and to secure the social peace,” Klingebiel said.
Two other cities in Lower Saxony, Wilhelmshaven and Delmenhorst, have asked for a similar decree to curb immigration levels. The state has invested 10 million euros ($11.82 million) to help communities integrate migrants.
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