BERLIN (Sputnik), Victoria Mladenovich – On Monday, a report published by the German Interior Ministry showed that the number of suspected crimes committed by refugees and undocumented migrants in Germany has increased by 52.7 percent to 174,438 in 2016.
"An adequate response to this issue would be further offers of integration and stability – especially by allowing family reunion which is currently going excruciatingly slowly and has been blocked by the government for many refugees, including those from Syria. What better source of stability and guidance for a young person than their family?" Mihalic said, commenting on ways to tackle ethnic and religious tensions among migrants, which, according to the German authorities, was one of the reasons behind the surge in crime levels.
According to the lawmaker, the statistics published by the German Interior Ministry "bear political controversy" and should not lead to a conclusion that migrants are more prone to committing crimes than German citizens.
"We have had hundreds of thousands of refugees come into Germany over the past two years. It is only normal and foreseeable that the crime rate would rise seeing the massively higher number of people in this category. Secondly, the figures continue to show that the average refugee is by no means more likely than any German to become a criminal," Mihalic explained.
In 2015, Germany declared an open-door refugee policy, becoming one of the key destinations for migrants coming to Europe from the Middle East and North Africa. According to the country's Interior Ministry, the number of refugees that came to Germany in 2016 amounted to some 280,000, compared to 890,000 arrivals in 2015. The majority of asylum seekers arriving in Germany are from Syria or Afghanistan.