Germany Puts in Place Tougher Checks to Control Migration

Germany has notified the European Commission of temporary controls at its borders with Poland, the Czech Republic and Switzerland set up to fight illegal migration, the country’s Interior Ministry said on Monday.

“The business of traffickers is becoming increasingly brutal and unscrupulous,” said German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser, adding that the deaths of seven people in a van, which crashed last week while fleeing police, have “shaken us deeply.”

By the beginning of October, Germany had already detected 98,000 unauthorized entries, 6,000 more than in the whole of last year. Police estimated that around one in four third-country nationals from outside the European Union (EU) who enter the country without permission are trafficked.

To reopen borders within the EU as quickly as possible, stepping up the protection of the bloc’s external borders is necessary, Faeser said. “We need to finalize EU legislation on this now.”

EU member states recently agreed to tighten asylum laws with a reform, which would allow for the extension of detention-like conditions at times of particularly high migration. The reform still has to be approved by the European Parliament.

Far-right ideologies have gained an increasing foothold in Germany since record numbers of migrants began arriving in the country in 2022. A recent survey conducted by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation (FES), a German political foundation, indicates a significant rise in the proportion of Germans with a “clear right-wing extremist orientation,” which now stands at 8 percent. Meanwhile, 16 percent have a negative attitude toward foreigners, FES said.

These results are “not only frightening, but also demand consistent action — from politicians, but also from society itself,” stressed FES Chairman Martin Schulz last month.

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