Violence Against Asylum-Seekers in Germany a Growing Concern

As conditions in countries in the Middle East, North Africa, and the Balkans continue to worsen, particularly Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan, a wave of asylum-seekers have relocated to Europe in search of safety. So far, Germany has accommodated more migrants than any other country in Europe, accepting as many as 180,000 people in the first half of this year. While the country is doing all it can to house such a large amount of newcomers, Germany is also unfortunately experiencing an ongoing pattern of racist hate crimes against migrants. These attacks have caused serious concerns about opposition from far-right Neo-Nazi groups.

During the first half of this year, the Interior Ministry received 202 reports of attacks on migrant housing, including vandalism, arson, flooding, and other attacks aimed at making the housing uninhabitable. Police records also show nearly 48 reports of racially-motivated attacks on individuals and a number of demonstrations that have occurred outside of temporary migrant housing. A group called Pegida, a German acronym for Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West, is a movement responsible for many of these demonstrations and for inciting hatred against foreigners in Germany.

German president Joachim Gauck has condemned the attacks as “intolerable” and “despicable,” and police are actively banning further demonstrations as they spring up.

Rhetoric in other countries has been equally unwelcoming to asylum-seekers, with Denmark seeking to cut benefits to slow the influx of migrants, and other countries, like Hungary, moving forward with plans to construct a 13-foot high barbed-wire fence along the Serbian border. The Czech government has also been active in its detainment of illegal migrants and has defended its right to do so.

Germans expect up to 800,000 people to seek asylum in Germany this year. This overwhelming number has added fuel to an ongoing debate in the European Union over migration policy and burden-sharing among all countries. According to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the asylum issue could potentially become the next big issue for the EU; a project which will show whether or not all European countries can agree to act together.

If you have questions about your immigration status or are seeking asylum in the United States, contact a Miami asylum lawyer from Pozo Goldstein, LLP as soon as possible by calling (888) 744-7980.

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