The number of deportations continued to increase again in 2016. The government released numerous statistics related to the topic of deportations and voluntary departures upon the request of the socialist party DIE LINKE. The figures show there were 25,375 deportations in 2016, which is the equivalent of a 21.5 % increase compared to the previous year. The number of assisted voluntary departures even increased by 45% to well over 54,000. Additionally, there were many departures assisted by state funds as well as unassisted departures, but unfortunately there is no valid data on the number of these.
After the number of deportations dropped from 9,617 in 2007 to 7,651 in 2012, they started to increase significantly again in 2013. This is primarily the result of the increasing number of asylum-seekers coming to Germany. According to the German Bundestag Printed Papers on the topic, including the most recent BT-Drs. 18/7588, there were 10,884 deportations in 2014, and in 2015 the number increased to 20,888. There were also 1,481 escorts to the border (within six months after illegal entry) and 8,913 foreigners were refused entry directly at the border, usually at an airport. Refusal of entry has been occurring more frequently at the borders of two EU countries since internal EU border controls were introduced.
The majority of the people deported in 2015 came from the Western Balkan nations of Kosovo, Serbia, Albania, Macedonia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. Deportations to these six safe countries of origin made up approximately 75% of all deportations. In 2016, 398 deportations (2015:136) were carried out to three Northern African countries which were supposed to be declared safe: Tunisia (116), Algeria (169) and Morocco (113). This represents a disproportionately high increase in the number of deportations to these countries. At the same time, 3,597 deportations (transfers) to other EU or Schengen member countries were carried out on the basis of the EU Dublin Regulation.
The number of voluntary departures of people who are legally obligated to leave the country is higher than the number of deportations. While this information may not be compiled reliably in the statistics presented in point 29 of the German Bundestag Printed Paper 18/5862, the federal government indicates there were 37,220 assisted voluntary returns in 2015 under the joint federal and state government assistance programme known as REAG/GARP. In 2014 this figure was 13,636 according to point 22 German Bundestag Printed Paper 18/7588. Additionally, there are also the voluntary returns that were assisted by state governments, which totalled 9,400 in 2014; however, there may be some overlap between this type of assistance and other federal and state programmes. The federal government explains that there is ‘a higher number’ of assisted voluntary returns than the figure obtained from the Central Register of Foreign Nationals (Ausländerzentralregister), because some of the foreigners concerned may not have been obligated to leave Germany yet or their obligation was not recorded in the central register when the figures were compiled.
When the figures are differentiated according to different states, it becomes apparent that the number of deportations increased considerably (at least doubled) compared to the previous year. This is especially true for the states of Bremen, Saxony, Berlin, Lower Saxony and Schleswig-Holstein. By contrast, there were fewer deportations than the previous year in Bavaria, Saarland and Saxony-Anhalt. In 2016 Bavaria had the second highest number of deportations after Baden Wuerttemberg overtook it as the state with the most deportations. The number of assisted voluntary departures also decreased in Bavaria in 2016, which is contrary to the national trend.
Follow the link if you would like to review the government’s statistics in German, which were compiled upon the request of the socialist political party, Die Linke:
Translation from German into English by Rosa Foyle