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    Refugees and asylum-seekers stand on the square by the Kornmarkt shopping center in Bautzen, Germany (File)

    Deporting Illegal Migrants May Lower Number of Homeless - Germany's AfD Member

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    A member of the right-wing Alternative for Germany has proposed a way to lower the number of homeless people in the country.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Tackling illegal migration through deportation can help lower the number of homeless people in Germany, which, as recent data shows, has grown significantly, Andreas Bleck, a member of the Alternative for Germany (AfD) parliamentary group, told Sputnik.

    "Most migrants don't get asylum. … The only problem is that the German government doesn't want to deport illegal residents. … Principally, the [Alternative for Germany] wants to deport illegal residents," Bleck said when asked what caused the current increase in the number of homeless people.

    The statement comes amid statistics released Tuesday by Germany's federal working group for homeless persons' assistance (BAG), showing that the number of homeless people in the country had grown from about 335,000 in 2014 to 860,000 in 2016, with 440,000 of them being refugees.

    While the BAG began including people recognized as refugees in their estimates in 2016, the agency's managing director, Thomas Specht, emphasized that immigration was not the only cause of homelessness, although it did contribute to it, and pointed to the inadequate housing policy as a reason.

    READ MORE: Prague to Host Gathering of European Anti-Migrant Forces

    In the last few years, Germany as well as a number of other European countries have seen a sharp increase in refugees, fleeing poverty or conflict in their home countries. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has chosen to open the border to refugees, however, this policy has been questioned by some German political movements and is one of the contentious issues being discussed at the ongoing coalition talks that Merkel's CDU/CSU bloc is holding with the Free Democrats and the Greens.

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    Tags:
    migrant, homeless, Alternative for Germany (AfD), Germany
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