7/14/15, "Record numbers enter Germany illegally," thelocal.de
Speaking in Berlin on Monday, Bundespolizei (federal police) chief
Dieter Romann said officials have seized over 63,000 people who entered
the country illegally so far this year - with around 3,000 cases
recorded last weekend alone.
The total for this year so far has already eclipsed last year's sum of
57,000, which had previously been the highest level since German
reunification in 1990.
The increase is in part down to a growing influx of asylum seekers. So
far this year around 179,000 refugees have applied for asylum in Germany
– more than double the figure for the first half of last year.
The most numerous are those from Syria, Eritrea and Afghanistan,
although Balkan states such as Kosovo, Serbia and Albania are also
contributing to growing refugee numbers.
As numbers rise, people-smuggling also appears to be on the increase -
with around 1,500 smugglers arrested so far this year, compared with a
total of around 2,100 last year.
Romann warned that the Austrian border with Bavaria is a particular hotspot, with police headquarters in Munich recording dramatic increases in case numbers.
In the first month of this year, officers there seized 575 illegal entrants into the country.
But the issue is not confined to Munich alone.
"All authorities are suffering the same strains," Romann said.
Lack of resources hobbles police
Police have been struggling for months to gather fingerprints from all those seized on the Austrian border, according to complaints made by The Trade Union of Police (GdP) last weekend.
They estimate that around 45,000 illegal immigrants have entered
Germany without being fingerprinted and photographed since the start of
While unable to confirm this number, Romann acknowledged that this
sharp influx of refugees had caused delays in registration – but denied
that there had been any compromise on security.
Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière (CDU)
has called for widespread action in light of rising refugee figures –
not only in accommodating, integrating and caring for asylum seekers,
but also in ensuring registration upon entry.
Jörg Radek –
head of the federal police – complained that authorities simply do not
have sufficient personnel and equipment to deal with the new and complex
problems they face."