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Not all German states welcome refugees equally

October 13, 2017

Iraqi asylum seekers in Germany would be wise to choose Bremen over Berlin, according to newly released government data. But the varying rates raise questions over how Germany processes asylum requests.

Deutschland Flüchtlinge Protest gegen Abschiebung
Image: Getty Images/S. Gallup

The ways asylum requests in Germany are handled differ greatly from state to state.

Data published by Germany's Funke media group on Friday revealed just how much the so-called "adjustment protection rate," which measures the proportion of asylum seekers who received asylum or recognized refugee status, varied for Iraqi and Afghan nationals.

Read more: An 'upper limit' on refugees — by any other name

For example, the protection rate for Iraqi refugees in Bremen during the first six months of 2017 was more than 96 percent. In Berlin, meanwhile, only around 50 percent of Iraqis were granted asylum or refugee status in the same period.

Refugees and the battle against bureaucracy

For Afghan nationals, the protection rate ranged from 31 percent in Brandenburg to 65 percent in Bremen. For asylum seekers from Iran the rate ranged from 38 percent (Bavaria) to 85 percent (Bremen). For refugees from Syria, the rate was over 99 percent across all German states.

The German government disclosed the data following an official parliamentary inquiry by Ulla Jelpke, member of the Bundestag for the Left party.

Jelpke expressed deep concerns over the wide gaps in accepted requests. "It cannot be denied that there are very different acceptance rates among federal states without any plausible explanation," she told the Funke group. "It is unacceptable that Afghan refugees living in Brandenburg or Bavaria only have about half the chance of staying and attaining protected status as their compatriots in Bremen."

dm/bk (dpa, KNA)