AN ESSAY BY ELIZA MÜLLER
Robert Seegmüller, head of the Association of German Administrative Judges, said that he expected the number of refugee court cases in Germany to at least double again in 2017. That's the conservative estimate. Seegmüller told newspaper "Rheinische Post" that 2017 could also see as many as three times the asylum-related court cases brought before a judge in 2016.
North Rhine Westphalia (NRW) is the largest of Germany's 16 states in terms of population. It also has a high immigrant population in comparison with the rest of the country. So its perhaps not surprising that most asylum applications are registered there. Asylum seekers are more likely to be male then female, although the balance changes somewhat from year to year. Almost one in every four asylum applications lodged this year have been on behalf of children under the age of four. By contrast children aged 4 to 6 made up only 3 percent of all applications. In 2016 two in every three asylum seekers were male, while so far this year 38 percent have been female. In March 2016, the German government passed new asylum regulations. They included a new rule that granted many refugees from Syria subsidiary protection instead of full asylum. Subsidiary protection is granted to those who cannot show that they have been personally persecuted. Germany won't send Syrians back to their war-torn country, but the German constitution only grants right of asylum to people who are politically persecuted. It doesn't apply to people fleeing general situations like civil war.
Eighteen percent of the crimes commited by migrants were assaults and robberies - with less than one percent sex crimes.