German Chancellor Angela Merkel is gearing up for a re-election campaign in the spring by promising more deportations during 2017.
Merkel expects to deport 100,000 migrants from Germany a year after opening the door to close to one million refugees. Around one-third of the 100,000 will be forcibly deported, while 60,000 migrants are expected to leave voluntarily.
Merkel hopes the threat of deportation will increase migrants’ willingness to leave voluntarily.
“It can not be that all the young people from Afghanistan come to Germany,” Merkel said Friday, according to Welt. “The most important thing in the coming months is repatriation, repatriation and once more, repatriation.”
The chancellor called for a “national push” to deport rejected asylum in October when the number of rejected asylum seekers still in the country exceeded 500,000. (RELATED: Merkel Calls For ‘National Push’ To Get Rid Of Rejected Asylum Seekers)
“We need a national push to deport those who are rejected,” Merkel said at a news conference in October. “That’s indisputable and we’re working hard on that at the moment.”
Merkel’s new deportation pledge comes days after announcing she will run for a fourth term as chancellor during next year’s election. The Christian Democratic Union has lost voters to populist party Alternative for Germany, which has put pressure on the chancellor to tighten immigration policies.
“This election will be even more difficult than those we have had before as we are facing a strong polarization,” Merkel said during her re-election announcement.
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