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Germany’s Largest State Bans Immigration From Morocco After Cologne Attacks

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Jacob Bojesson Foreign Correspondent
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The German state of North Rhine Westphalia, where Cologne is located, has struck a deal with the federal government to not accept any refugees from Morocco.

Thirty out of 73 people arrested from the attacks in Cologne on New Year’s Eve are from Morocco. Criminal gangs from North Africa have become a big problem in the state, which forced the moratorium. (RELATED: Moroccan Sex Attack Suspect In Germany Identified After Bragging On TV)

More than 21,000 offenses and 17,000 suspects of North African origin have been identified over the last three years, according to numbers from Cologne police.

“Immigrants from the North African region appear disproportionately as offenders,” Ralf Jäger, the state interior minister, said Tuesday. “Frequently the suspects are young men traveling alone.”

About 80 percent of Moroccan refugees in Germany settle in state. More than 6,400 Moroccans came to the state in 2015, a 300 percent increase from 2014.

Birgit Naujoks of the Refugee Council in North Rhine Westphalia said the exclusion of Moroccans sends bad signals.

“It is difficult if the country excludes a particular group of refugees and says ‘we don’t want you now,'” Naujoks told Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger.

Since Morocco is considered a “safer country” than Syria and Iraq, the chances of receiving asylum for a Moroccan are slim as it is.

Moroccans will not be blocked from entering the state.

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