The German government has decided to take a hard line on illegal immigration in an effort to boost its already high level of population growth, while also trying to tackle a growing backlog of asylum applications.
As the country heads into a general election, Chancellor Angela Merkel and her conservatives have been trying to increase immigration, but their approach has been met with harsh criticism from critics who say it risks creating a dangerous new political party in Germany.
According to German newspaper Bild, the government will propose a cap on the number of migrants arriving in Germany, as well as new rules on how and where asylum seekers can be admitted.
Under current rules, migrants are allowed to enter the country if they can prove they are fleeing persecution or a crime.
However, according to the German government, they must first be vetted by the police before being allowed into the country.
Critics argue that this approach would only make it harder for migrants to come to Germany and that it would be unfair to asylum seekers if the authorities did not have enough resources to screen them.
“The new measures will increase the number and severity of border checks on migrants coming to Germany,” an unnamed minister told Bild.
“It will create new conditions for the country’s border protection officers to have to carry out a disproportionate number of border searches.
This is unacceptable.”
A new cap on immigration would also put an even higher burden on German police and judicial systems, according the paper.
The government is also expected to impose strict border controls on migrants who arrive by plane or train from Italy, Spain, and Greece.
This would mean that the authorities would have to screen migrants in airports in order to check their passports, as opposed to those who arrive in the country by sea.
“A cap on asylum applications will put a huge burden on the German judiciary, as the backlog of cases is already a burden for the courts,” the minister said.
“If the government does not follow the current rules of procedure, there will be serious consequences for judges who are not able to handle the cases quickly.”