German Federal Office for Migration and Refugees chief Hans-Eckhard Sommer has announced that despite the general reduction in migrant flows to the country, it is still receiving an overwhelming number of asylum applications per year — 162,000 in 2018 alone. Sommer noted that this number is "too high", as it is roughly comparable to the population of a large city.
The immigration minister also revealed that most migrants coming to Germany have no asylum status, while only 35% receive one.
"We see very clearly that many people come here without having a grounds for asylum", he said.
Another important problem that German immigration bodies are facing is the increasing number of migrants arriving without any identifying documents. Sometimes they are even unable to determine the birth date, let alone their real names. In 2018 alone, around 200,000 migrants entered Germany without any form of ID.
Sommer also expressed his support for introducing upper limits to the number of asylum applications per year, but at the same time opposed the idea of simply dismissing all applications beyond the set limit. According to him, Germany can't ignore someone who has a good reason to apply for an asylum.
European countries have been facing an influx of migrants coming mostly from the Middle East since 2015, with Germany receiving a large portion of asylum seekers due to an open-door policy announced by Chancellor Angela Merkel.
The arrival of vast numbers of migrants spurred concerns that many of them would not abide by German laws and traditions. According to some reports, Germany has seen a sharp rise in crime, especially cases of rape, since 2015. Numerous German women reported sexual assaults, rapes and thefts in the city of Cologne during the 2015-2016 New Year's Eve festivities, carried out by men of "Arab or North African appearance", as the city's police chief described them.