How Angela Merkel Turned The Tide For Asylum Seekers Forever

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The ongoing civil war conditions in countries like Yemen and Syria have seen an exodus of migrants flocking across the European borders. Germany also faced a similar situation. In 2015, German Chancellor, Angela Merkel confidently proclaimed that Germany would not shun away human beings looking for a safe haven. After five years, she has indeed proven her critics wrong who thought she was out of her mind to have been confident to handle the exodus.

Germany has used some extremely self motivated ways to support the more than 10,000 people who knocked their doors as refugees since 2015. These refugees have been given the opportunity to master their language sufficiently to be able to get them enrolled at a German university. More than half of those who came have already started working and also pay their taxes. Among refugee children and teenagers, more than 80 percent say that they have a strong sense of belonging to their German schools and feel liked by their peers.

In a nutshell, the refugee community has happily absorbed the German culture in order to be accepted as a part of the nation. Merkel was cornered in 2015 for having made an ambitious claim when multitude of civilians were flocking Germany from Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq. In 2016 again, it received as many as three quarters of a million applications for people seeking asylum.

By 2017, world leaders especially the US had an opinion on Merkel’s statement. The famous lines ‘We will Manage’ were battered down in the political arena as a bad political mistake that would lead to the end of Merkel’s career in politics. Attacks with Islamist motives in the country could not dampen her spirits. Luckily, none could be attributed to the mass exodus of the migrants either, which is the first thing that the political bigwigs and subsequently the citizens themselves are compelled to point fingers at. Asylum seekers become the easy targets.

Merkel did have to face the rightwing extremist circles. Their agitation was seen as violence against asylum seekers and assassination of pro-immigration politicians like Walter Lübcke. Crime saw an upward curve between 2015 and 2019. But there was no reason to attribute it to the surge of immigrants. There were indications that many jihadist motivated hate crimes were done through individuals who posed to be asylum seekers and used the guise to enter the country. But that could not attribute motivation of the movement of refugees themselves.

Further, according to the Guardian report, empirical studies have failed to find data proving that Merkel’s Wir schaffen das significantly intensified the movement of refugees into Europe, although it is likely that the attention drawn towards Germany’s liberal stance on asylum influenced the decisions of those who were already in Europe at the time.

The most commendable part of her leadership has been the way she struck a deal with Turkey that diverted the number of applications to less than half in 2016. Despite her loss in local elections, she has garnered support for her response to the Covid-19 crisis, making her shine out as a leader who knows her stuff and does it well.

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