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Merkel Calls For ‘National Push’ To Get Rid Of Rejected Migrants

REUTERS/Stefanie Loos

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Jacob Bojesson Foreign Correspondent

German Chancellor Angela Merkel wants a “national push” to deport as many rejected asylum seekers as possible from the country.

Germany struggled to get rid of asylum rejects during years when the migrant influx was much smaller. Close to a million arrivals in 2015 alone has created a huge backlog of deportations that authorities can’t execute.

“We need a national push to deport those who are rejected,” Merkel said at a news conference Saturday. “That’s indisputable and we’re working hard on that at the moment.”

The chancellor promised to increase the staff at immigration authorities to tackle the problem.

A government report released in August showed 549,209 people in Germany remained in the country despite having their asylum claims denied. Authorities expect to deport less than 30,000 of them by the end of the year.

Germany hosted Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari in Berlin over the weekend to discuss solutions to slow down the migrant flow from Africa. Merkel said a majority of Nigerians in Germany will be deported since “most of them came for economic reasons.”

Germany is also considering expelling about half its Afghan refugee population to ease the pressure.

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