05:34 GMT +322 September 2019
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    Migrants arrive at the first registration point for asylum seekers in Erding near Munich, southern Germany, on November 15, 2016

    German Parliament Extends Moratorium on Refugee Family Reunification

    © AFP 2019 / Christof Stache
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    BERLIN (Sputnik) - German lawmakers voted on Thursday in favor of a draft bill to keep until July 31 the moratorium on family reunification for migrants entitled to subsidiary protection in Germany.

    During the session, aired by the Phoenix TV station, the parliament also rejected draft bills submitted by opposition parties. The Free Democratic Party proposed to extend the moratorium on reunification for two more years, while the parliamentary group of the Alternative for Germany political party suggested depriving refugees of the right to family reunification. The Left and The Greens parties demanded complete removal of the restriction.

    The parliamentary vote on the draft bill on family reunification for refugees comes following an agreement reached at the coalition talks between Germany's two biggest parties — the alliance of the Christian Democratic Union and the Christian Social Union (CDU/CSU) with the Social Democratic Party (SPD) — to lift the moratorium on family reunification in August, with the country taking 1,000 family members of refugees per month.

    READ MORE: Germany's CDU-SPD Deal on Migrants Family Reunion Freeze Insufficient — AfD

    The moratorium on family reunification for refugees in Germany went into effect in March 2016.

    Germany has been one of the key destinations in Europe for thousands of refugees from the Middle East and North Africa. However, according to the Office of Migrants and Refugees, the number of asylum seekers arriving in the county dropped to 186, 644 in 2017 from about 280,000 the year before.

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