09:46 GMT +319 November 2018
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    Migrants arrive at the first registration point for asylum seekers in Erding near Munich, southern Germany, on November 15, 2016

    Bavaria's 'Tough Dog' Reportedly Set to Lead Germany’s Federal Refugee Agency

    © AFP 2018 / Christof Stache
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    The German government agency in charge of migrant-related issues is reportedly set to receive a “tough” new director after his predecessor was fired over a corruption scandal.

    Hans-Eckhard Sommer, a member of the Christian Social Union (CSU) in Bavaria and an ally of German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, is about to be appointed as chief of the country’s Federal Office of Migration and Refugees (BAMF), DPA and Focus Online report citing anonymous government sources.

    According to Deutsche Welle, Sommer is known as a “tough dog” (harter Hund) among the government officials, and is currently “responsible for foreigner and asylum law” at the Bavarian Ministry of Interior.

    The new prospective BAMF chief reportedly favors swift deportations of failed asylum seekers and a more thorough screening of refugees for possible terrorist connections.

    The German Interior Ministry, however, declined to “speculate” on this development.

    Meanwhile, Markus Soeder, Minister-President of Germany's federal land of Bavaria, stated that he was willing to support the provision of Seehofer's Immigration Masterplan stipulating that migrants can be turned away at the border. The politician went on saying that Germany needs "to send a strong signal today," referring to the ultimatum to country’s Chancellor Angela Merkel over the issue of undocumented migrants, which Seehofer is due to deliver later in the day.

    Earlier, Seehofer fired BAMF head Jutta Cordt and her deputy Ralph Tiesler following the corruption scandal which erupted after several employees at the BAMF's Bremen office were accused of taking bribes in exchange for granting asylum to around 1,200 refugees who did not meet acceptance criteria.

    The German Interior Ministry also confirmed that at least two extremists managed to enter the country by manipulating the application processing system at the BAMF Bremen office.

    READ MORE: German Police Suspect Terror Plot, Large Amount of Toxin Found in Migrant's Flat

    On June 4, the German Free Democratic Party (FDP) asked the Bundestag to create a committee dedicated to finding those responsible for the asylum management scandal, echoing a similar request made by the right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD) party in May, when the latter demanded an investigation into the government’s migration policy.

    Since 2015, Europe has been struggling to cope with the effects of hard-to-control immigration, with hundreds of thousands of migrants fleeing conflict and poverty in the Middle East and Africa.

    Related:

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    German Authorities Conduct Operation to Curb Migrant Smuggling - Reports
    Tags:
    appointment, migrants, refugees, Federal Office of Migration and Refugees, Horst Seehofer, Germany, Bavaria
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