29 January 2016

Germans Cracking Down on Illegal Migrants

German Migrants
German anger is now more pronounced than before and the collective ire is focused on the able-bodied immigrants and economic cowards. This came after police investigate dozens of sex-deprived suspects from that region in mass incidents of groping and theft and several cases of rape that occurred on New Year's Eve in Cologne and other cities.

Members of Germany's ruling coalition have vowed to speed up the review of North Africans' asylum applications, especially since the number of migrants from that region is rising.

North African countries account for a relatively small percentage of the more than 1 million migrants registered in Germany last year, nearly half of whom were from Syria. The Interior Ministry says the combined number of migrants from Algeria and Morocco was less than 1,000 in June, but in December, there were more than 5,000.

The government is expected to add those countries and Tunisia to the list of "safe" countries whose citizens don't qualify as refugees under German law. Germany already rejects most asylum applicants from Balkan countries, also designated safe. And Chancellor Angela Merkel warned recently that even some Afghans expecting asylum should expect instead to be sent back home.

Authorities arrested a 26-year-old Algerian asylum seeker in a refugee shelter near Cologne and charged him with groping and the theft of a phone. He was the first suspect to be arrested in connection with the city's New Year's Eve attacks.

In the nearby city of Duesseldorf, 300 police officers conducted a raid in the city's so-called "Maghreb Quarter" — named for the northwestern region of Africa that includes Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco.

"Operation Casablanca" was part of an investigation that had been underway for several years into gangs whose members were stealing and pickpocketing near the city's main train station, police spokesman Andreas Czogalla says. More recently, these groups came under investigation for groping incidents and other sexual assaults on New Year's Eve.

A few days ago, a six-hour raid led to the arrests of 40 people, most on suspicion of being in Germany illegally. Most turned out to be asylum seekers, and once they showed their documents, they were released.

Duesseldorf police defend their tough approach. Czogalla, the spokesman, says 69 women came forward to accuse men they described as looking North African of groping them here on New Year's Eve.