130,000 migrants that entered Germany in the past year are nowhere to be found. However, it is believed that they are headed to the UK.
Figures released by the German government reveal they have lost track of one in seven of the 1.1million people who flooded into the country seeking sanctuary.
It means they could have vanished to work in the black economy or left Germany altogether. Thousands might even be on their way to France and Belgium in a bid to try to sneak into the UK, where asylum seekers are given accommodation, benefits, health care and education.
The missing people failed to arrive at the government accommodation assigned to them. The head of Germany’s migration office also admitted yesterday that up to 400,000 people were in the country under unknown identities.
Mrs Merkel has moved to tighten asylum rules in recent months, and economic migrants with no genuine claim may choose to go underground to avoid deportation. On Thursday, the German parliament approved tougher asylum rules aimed at curbing the record influx.
These include plans for an identity document to be issued upon the arrival of a migrant, which would allow authorities to store personal details under a common database to help avoid repeated registrations. The new rules, which include restricting family reunions for some migrants, also lower the hurdles for the expulsion of convicted criminals.
This key measure comes after the new year’s rampage in Cologne, where hundreds of women reported being sexually assaulted and robbed in a crowd of mostly migrant men. There is also a two-year ban on allowing asylum seekers to bring their families to the country.