Federal Police Chief Dieter Romann argued that deportations of illegal immigrants couldn't be properly executed due to the lack of pre-deportation facilities.
Speaking to Germany's Funke Media Group, he lamented that the country, which retains the first spot in the number of asylum applications across the EU, "has far too few detention centres."
He further specified that for the 248,000 foreigners requiring deportation, there are just 577 deportation centres to house them temporarily and then process their deportation. Local authorities have cited the shortage, as the reason why 119,000 would-be deportees, have ultimately been granted permission to stay.
From January to October 2019, authorities registered a total of 20,996 deportations - 1,000 fewer than in the same period last year, per Funke. The drop in the total number of deportations is related to fewer people illegally crossing into Germany of late: roughly 32,945 people in 2019 compared with 38,580 last year.
Deportations are essentially carried out by separate German states, but federal police accompany flights taking spurned asylum seekers to third countries. Earlier this month, German police officers reported feeling the strain from deportations as law enforcement departments had to boost the number of officers accompanying the afore-mentioned flights significantly. The total number of police escorts is reported to have doubled in just four years.
In 2015, Germany took in over one million refugees amid the European migration crisis, and as part of what Chancellor Angela Merkel called an "open-door policy." Multiple reports have since attributed responsibility for murders (which resulted in the notorious unrest in Chemnitz ) and sexual assault to immigrants and asylum-seekers living in Germany. This has engendered public outcry over Merkel's immigration policy and caused severe divisions in her coalition government.
In 2018, Berlin sought to avoid the migration crunch, with the German interior ministry establishing "transfer centres" and "anchor centres" to hold and process migrants who had made their way to the country illegally.