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News > Germany

Berlin Can No Longer Accommodate More Refugees

  • Refugee shelters in Berlin, Germany, Sept. 19, 2023.

    Refugee shelters in Berlin, Germany, Sept. 19, 2023. | Photo: X/ @realpeacenotwar

Published 19 September 2023

Up until the end of August, 10,000 people have applied for asylum in Berlin, with the majority coming from Syria, Turkey, and Afghanistan.

On Tuesday, authorities in Berlin issued an alert, stating that they have run out of space to accommodate more refugees and asylum seekers. They emphasized that 32,000 individuals are already housed in public facilities.


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According to the Social Affairs Administration of the Berlin Senate, the capacity for hosting people in the Regional Refugee Office centers is full. The same situation applies to the asylum seekers' reception center in the Reinickendorf district and the reception center for Ukrainians at the former Tegel airport.

While 31,889 spots are currently occupied, there were 274 vacant spots as of Sept. 15. However, these spots are reserved for a group of asylum seekers who will arrive before the end of the month through a reception program from Lebanon.

Up until the end of August, 10,000 people have applied for asylum in Berlin since the beginning of the year, with the majority coming from Syria, Turkey, and Afghanistan—about 3,000 more than during the same period in 2022.

There are also approximately 11,000 Ukrainian citizens who are entitled to an automatic temporary residence permit without being required to apply for refugee status.

A working team from the Berlin Social Affairs Administration will meet on Tuesday to explore new spaces for accommodating the newcomers, and Senator Cansel Kiziltepe has already suggested the possibility of setting up tents for this purpose.

In recent months, the number of migrants and asylum seekers arriving in Germany through the border with Poland has increased. However, the administration led by Social Democrat Olaf Scholz has so far refused to introduce systematic border controls at that border.

Last week, the Interior Ministry announced that it has suspended the reception of migrants and asylum seekers from Italy through the European voluntary distribution mechanism.

The reason is that Rome refuses to take back those who are under Italian responsibility as per the rule stating that the first European country to register a potential refugee must process their application.

German municipalities have long complained about lacking the necessary resources to manage the reception and integration of assigned refugees. Those governed by the conservative opposition demand a more restrictive immigration policy.

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