Merkel Backs Deportation of Criminal Migrants

Merkel Backs Deportation of Criminal MigrantsMerkel Backs Deportation of Criminal Migrants

Chancellor Angela Merkel has supported a proposal that would speed up the deportation process for migrants who commit crimes. Her comments come a week after a massive string of sexual assaults carried out in Cologne.

In response to a spate of shocking New Year’s Eve sexual assaults in Cologne—at least some of which were allegedly committed by refugees—Merkel said on Friday that it was time to speed up the process of deporting migrants who are convicted of crimes, DPA reported.

“The most important thing is that the facts about what happened [in Cologne] are spoken about openly and bluntly. Terrible things happened and we must respond to them,” Merkel told an audience of fellow members of the Christian Democratic Union at a meeting in Mainz.

Under Germany’s current laws, asylum seekers are only sent back if the government sentences them to three-year jail terms and deems they will not be in danger if they’re sent back to their countries.

Merkel is under considerable pressure following the events in Cologne, as they have raised some doubts both inside and outside Germany about the chancellor’s decision to allow in so many refugees.

Some have accused Merkel of having an “open-door” policy toward migrants, although Germany reintroduced border checks with Austria in September. In 2015, the country took in nearly 1.1 million asylum seekers, many from crisis-hit regions in the Middle East.