Nearly 20,000 migrants turned away at Germany’s borders

Nearly 20,000 migrants turned away at Germany’s borders

The number of migrants stopped at Germany’s borders has doubled, while voluntarily deportations are also on the rise. The issue is set to be a major political issue ahead of elections next year.

An increasing number of migrants are voluntarily leaving Germany to return to their homelands and police are refusing entry to more people at the border, according to media reports on Wednesday citing official statistics.

So far this year around 55,000 migrants voluntarily left Germany to return to their country of origin, the largest number in 16 years, the daily “Süddeutsche Zeitung” reported. The number is nearly double the estimated 25,000 forced deportations carried out so far this year.

Most of the migrants came from the western Balkans, with around 15,000 people returning to Albania up to November.  That was followed by another 5,000 migrants each from Serbia, Kosovo and Iraq. The figures are based on internal documents from the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF).

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People from the Balkans have little chance of receiving permanent residency rights in Germany. By voluntarily repatriating, they avoid forced deportation and a permanent ban on reentering Germany.

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