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Germany Approves Faster Deportation of Failed Asylum-Seekers

  • Associated Press

German Chancellor Angela Merkel attends the weekly cabinet meeting of the German government at the chancellery in Berlin, Feb. 22, 2017.

Germany's Cabinet approved a plan Wednesday that will make it easier to deport rejected asylum-seekers.

Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said the measures mean that deportations of rejected asylum-seekers will be faster and more people will be sent back home.

Germany was flooded with 890,000 asylum-seekers in 2015 and has been working to streamline how it deals with them, speeding up granting asylum to those who qualify for it and sending home those who don't.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who faces a general election in September, has called repeatedly for a "national effort" to make sure that people without the right to stay leave the country.

The new measures include tweaking regulations to make it easier to take into custody people believed to be dangerous before deporting them, and giving authorities more leeway in observing them, de Maiziere said. Other measures include allowing authorities to evaluate data on cell phones and computers when the identity of an asylum seeker is in doubt.

Germany has recently started deporting more Afghans, a move that has been criticized harshly by some who don't consider Afghanistan a secure country. Several state governments, which currently handle deportations, have refused to send people back to Afghanistan.

A group deportation from Munich to Kabul with 50 people is scheduled for Wednesday night, the dpa news agency reported.