The German government is considering deporting half its Afghan refugees as part of a deal with Kabul.
Nearly 80,000 Afghans have applied for asylum from Germany, which has welcomed more than a million refugees in the past year alone. Now, the government is thinking about returning about 40,000 of them back to Afghanistan, reports the Mirror.
The deportations would not include women and children — the vast majority of refugees are men — but would include those whose asylum applications have already been rejected three times. Some of the “deportations” would include refugees who agree to return willingly, and the government plans to use chartered flights to return the refugees.
Voters delivered a stunning rebuke in a recent election to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has firmly stood by her policy of embracing more and more refugees. Her party, the Christian Democratic Union, suffered its worst defeat ever at the polls, and fell to third behind a nationalist party with a platform of limiting refugee intake.
Now candidates from a sister party, the Christian Social Union, are vowing not to back Merkel for a fourth term. Although Merkel has acknowledged her refugee policies have been a source of trouble for the country, she is adamant that the lack of support is based on flawed implementation rather than the principal behind the policies.
“There are political issues that one can see coming but don’t really register with people at that certain moment,” Merkel said in a recent interview, blaming failure to act sooner for the unrest regarding the refugees. “In Germany we ignored both the problem for too long and blocked out the need to find a pan-European solution.”