Record number of refugees opt to leave in 2016

Source: Aljazeera

Nearly 55,000 migrants and refugees who were not eligible for or were likely to be denied asylum left Germany voluntarily in 2016, up by 20,000 from the number who left of their own volition in 2015, according to government officials.

Germany has toughened its stance on immigration in recent months, prompted by concerns about security and integration after admitting more than 1.1 million migrants and refugees from the Middle East, Africa and elsewhere since early 2015.

“That’s a considerable increase from last year,” Harald Neymanns, interior ministry spokesman, announced on Wednesday, adding that the 2016 figure had climbed to 54,123 through December 27.

“The increase is welcome. It’s always preferable when people leave the country voluntarily instead of being deported.”

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