Chancellor Olaf Scholz says the country must take action against “irregular migration”.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Thursday that Germany must take better action against “irregular migration” and deport those who are not legally in the country.

Scholz said Germany will, however, continue to offer shelter to Ukrainians fleeing Russia’s war.

“Of course, our responsibility in the face of this terrible war of aggression also includes the protection of Ukrainian citizens in the European Union,” Scholz said in a speech to parliament, adding: “All levels of government have been doing an excellent job every year for more than 20 years — before above all the cities, counties and communities.”

More than a million Ukrainians have found refuge in Germany since Russia invaded their country more than a year ago. In addition, more than 200,000 people from countries such as Syria, Afghanistan and Turkey applied for asylum in 2022.


Municipalities have been complaining for months that they are having trouble accommodating the many newcomers to Germany, and are calling on the federal government to help them with housing, schooling and financial support for all.

While Ukrainians have generally been warmly welcomed by Germans, asylum seekers from the Middle East or Africa have faced more hostility as attacks on asylum shelters have risen again in the last year.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz speaks at the Bundestag session in Berlin, Germany, on March 16, 2023. Scholz demanded that his country do a better job of curbing “irregular migration”. (Kay Nietfeld/dpa via AP)

Scholz emphasized that “effective answers to the challenges of flight and migration will only be possible through a European framework”.

Germany has long been one of the most popular destinations for migrants in Europe, and the government is pushing for a fairer distribution of migrants across Europe – but to no avail.

GERMAN POLICE Razzia against suspected people smugglers

Scholz also stressed that Germany must speed up the deportation of rejected asylum applications.

“Anyone who has no right of residence in Germany must quickly return to their home country,” he said. “It’s not working well enough yet.”

By the end of last year, around 240,000 people were in the asylum process and around 168,000 people had been rejected as asylum seekers and had to leave the country, according to the Integration media service, which researches migration in Germany. However, in 2022 only 12,945 people who were required to leave the country were deported.


In addition to accelerating deportations, Scholz also said the country must take better action against irregular migration, but did not go into detail.

“We want to reduce irregular migration,” said the Chancellor. “We want fewer people to get into the situation hands of smugglers and on life-threatening escape routes.”

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