MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Earlier this week, German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said the country's authorities would ease the legal restrictions to make it easier to deport migrants who have been convicted of committing crimes, noting that the new rules will make a foreigner's expulsion likely in cases where a criminal has been sentenced to one or more years in prison.
"I am deeply concerned when I look at the developments in asylum and refugee law and politics in Germany these days. The focus is clearly put more and more on the deportation and expulsion than on the integration of refugees," Ulla Jelpke, who is also a member of Internal Affairs Committee of the Bundestag, said.
According to Jelpke, the country does not need any tightening of laws to allow for more deportations or expulsions.
On Wednesday, a spokesperson for the German Interior Ministry told Sputnik that the new law proposed in Germany to ease the deportation process for crime-committing migrants was not under consideration before the Cologne sexual assaults on New Year's Eve.
Current German legislation only allows for migrants to be deported if they have been sentenced to a jail term of three years or longer and provided the situation in their country of origin makes it safe for them to go back there.
More than a million people – mostly from North Africa and the Middle East – claimed asylum in Germany in 2015.