For the first time in nine years, fewer refugees are living in Germany. The reasons for this are different, a new study finds. The left criticizes the government’s refugee policy.

For the first time in nine years, the number of refugees in Germany has fallen. As the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung reported, referring to the response of the Federal Ministry of the Interior to a request from the left-wing parliamentary group, by mid-year 1.77 million refugees with different residence statuses were living in Germany. At the end of 2019, there were still 62,000 fewer people.

According to the report, there are currently about 1.31 million refugees safely residing in Germany – about 50,000 fewer than in the previous six months. In Germany, more than 450,000 people live as asylum seekers or tolerated persons – 15,000 fewer than in the previous year.

Many no longer in the state – criticism from the left

According to statistics, it is the first time since the end of 2011 that the number of refugees living in Germany has decreased again. The Federal Ministry of the Interior informed the “Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung” that the current decline was mainly due to the individuals’ protection status being revoked or withdrawn or had expired. A “significant portion” of those affected are no longer on federal territory, so they have left, a spokeswoman said.

Left-wing politician Ulla Jelpke sharply criticized the federal government’s refugee policy. “We have room, the figures show. At the same time, tens of thousands of people seeking protection are trapped under unworthy conditions in the European countries of first reception,” she told the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung. Germany “as a wealthy country in the middle of Europe” should not escape its responsibility to protect refugees by entrenching itself “behind European barbed wire, hotspot camps and rejection practices of Member States with EU external borders”.

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