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More than 2,000 people who are obliged to leave Berlin have unknown origins

In Berlin, the country of origin is unknown for almost every tenth person who is obliged to leave the country and whose asylum application has been rejected.

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More than 2,000 people who are obliged to leave Berlin have unknown origins

In Berlin, the country of origin is unknown for almost every tenth person who is obliged to leave the country and whose asylum application has been rejected. A comparably high proportion of people with unclear origins who are required to leave the country is not to be found in any other federal state, as can be seen from a response from the federal government to a request from the left-wing faction, which the German Press Agency has received.

According to the information, almost 18 percent of the total of around 21,654 people who are obliged to leave the capital come from Moldova.

The 2020 people with unclear identity recorded in the Central Register of Foreigners who live in Berlin form the second largest group at around 9.3 percent, followed by people from Iraq and those from the Russian Federation and Georgia who are obliged to leave the country.

In 2021, the Federal Ministry of the Interior told the Berlin Interior Senate that the high number of asylum applicants from Moldova could be related to the then common practice of paying out social benefits several months in advance in Berlin.

In Bavaria, North Rhine-Westphalia, Lower Saxony, Schleswig-Holstein and Thuringia, most of those required to leave the country in 2022 came from Iraq. In Brandenburg, almost every fourth person obliged to leave the country came from the Russian Federation. In Baden-Württemberg, people from Gambia formed the largest group among those required to leave the country.

According to the federal government, a total of 304,308 foreigners were required to leave the country as of December 31, 2022, the majority of whom (248,145 people) had a so-called toleration. Tolerated persons remain obliged to leave the country, but may stay temporarily because they cannot be deported, for example because they have no identity documents or are ill.

Last year, 26,545 people who were required to leave Germany left Germany voluntarily. 12,945 people were deported. As the Federal Government further reported, around half (6348) of these deportations were carried out unaccompanied.

Security forces from the target countries were present when 340 people were deported – a variant that was used more frequently, especially in the case of deportations to Algeria. Accompanied by security forces from an airline, 1,637 deportations took place.

The federal government did not publicly answer a question from the left-wing faction about the names of airlines involved in deportations. In justification, she wrote: “Public naming of the airlines that offer repatriation flights carries the risk that these companies will be exposed to public criticism and as a result will no longer be available to transport people who are obliged to leave the country to their home countries.” This would lead to repatriations more difficult or even impossible.

From the point of view of MP Clara Bünger (left), these are not convincing arguments. She said: “If airlines fear being criticized for their involvement in deportations, they have to withdraw from this business, quite simply.” She is critical of the fact that deportations and deportations have increased significantly again in 2022.

She says this often forces people back, under the threat or use of force, to places where they face war, torture, arbitrary detention, extreme poverty or a lack of prospects.

However, compared to the years before the start of the corona pandemic, which temporarily led to significant restrictions on international traffic, the number of deportations last year was still relatively low.

In 2019 there were around 22,000 deportations from Germany. In 2020, the number of 10,800 deportations was significantly lower: A year later, 11,982 deportations were organized and carried out.

The factors that recently led to a decline in the number of deportations include the takeover of power by the militant Islamist Taliban in Afghanistan in 2021, the loss of direct flight connections to Russia as a result of the war of aggression against Ukraine and the repression following the mass protests in Iran.

"Kick-off" is WELT's daily news podcast. The most important topic analyzed by WELT editors and the dates of the day. Subscribe to the podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, Google Podcasts, among others, or directly via RSS feed.

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