Europe’s greatest migration since the end of World War II is taking place right now.
According to Germany’s Federal Ministry of the Interior, 1.1 million migrants have registered to seek asylum in Germany this past year, with more on the way in 2016.
Syrian migrants fleeing the threat of ISIS make up nearly half of the population seeking refuge in Germany, at 428,468. Afghans and Iraqis followed as second and third on the list with 124,046 and 121,662 migrants, respectively.
According to The Local de, not all of those seeking refuge have filed official asylum requests, with Germany claiming that it will not grant all applicants asylum and has vowed to send back “economic migrants” from countries that are at peace.
The de continues to state that only migrants who are fleeing war would have a high probability of being granted refugee status, which is the case for the Syrians, Iraqis and majority of Afghans who make up more than half of the population seeking refuge in Germany.
With the growing number of refugees flooding the Western European country, public concern has erupted over the risks these war-torn migrants place on their homeland despite their Chancellor’s request to view refugee arrivals as “an opportunity for tomorrow” and urged doubters not to give into “racist hate-mongers”.
The wave of sexual assaults and muggings in Germany during New Year’s Eve, however, has made it difficult for locals to grasp the “opportunity” their Chancellor speaks of and has many questioning the overwhelming number of war-torn refugees that are pouring into their country.
When Germany’s Chancellor, Angela Merkel, agreed to open her countries borders to refugees in the late summer of 2015 she expressed the possibility of bettering her country and admitted of the hardships that would ultimately pay off in the end claiming that “countries have always benefited from successful immigration, both economically and socially.”
And though her German citizens greeted the first refugees with applause and resources, citizens and lawmakers are now pressuring the 2015 Time Person of the Year, in Merkey, to limit the number of migrants entering the country in 2016.
“We are determined to achieve a notable and sustainable reduction for the year 2016 by a bundle of foreign policy, European policy and national measures,” said Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière.
According to Germany’s Interior Ministry, the number of total immigrants-including those from neighboring European Union and Western countries as well as asylum seekers-reached the highest level in 2015 since 1950.
The attraction of Germany and its growth as Europe’s economic powerhouse has many workers in neighboring EU countries flooding it’s borders for an opportunity at stable employment and has contributed to the inflated numbers of migrants entering Germany in recent years.
“The number of people who come to us looking for work shows that we are an attractive country with a stable economy that enables labor migration in many areas,” said Mr. de Maizière.
According to The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Germany has grown into the second most popular destination for economic migrants after the United States.
In respect to the overwhelming amount of refugees making their way to Western Europe, reports indicate that Merkel plans to navigate the flow of incoming refugees into the European Union while keeping open borders within the bloc as a solution to her countries current migrant dilemma.
“It is very important to me that we achieve both a noticeable reduction in the flow of refugees… and at the same time preserve the free movement of people within the European Union,” she told reporters at a conference of her Bavarian allies, the CSU.
And despite strong opposition from some conservationists and critics, Merkel has confirmed that she will not close Germany’s border nor deny entry to refugees after a certain number of arrivals at this point. Standing strong behind her notion of not giving in to the “racist hate-mongers” and allowing her country and possibly the world “an opportunity for tomorrow”.
[AP Photo/Markus Schreiber]