13-10-2019 11:18 PM Jerusalem Timing

Germany Tightens Asylum Rules to Limit Refugee Influx

Germany Tightens Asylum Rules to Limit Refugee Influx

Germany moved to tighten its asylum laws to slow a record migrant influx as Chancellor Angela Merkel sought to bridge deep European rifts over the crisis in talks with Italy’s Matteo Renzi Friday.

Germany moved to tighten its asylum laws to slow a record migrant influx as Chancellor Angela Merkel sought to bridge deep European rifts over the crisis in talks with Italy's Matteo Renzi Friday.

Late Thursday, Merkel's coalition government, after months of wrangling, hammered out a deal to limit numbers by blocking some migrant family reunifications and declaring three North African nations "safe countries of origin."

German Chancellor Angela MerkelThe agreement means citizens of Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia will have little chance of gaining political asylum, echoing steps Germany took for several Balkans countries last year.

Germany will also block family reunifications for two years for rejected asylum seekers who can't be deported because they face the threat of torture or the death penalty in their own country.

Merkel's cabinet should sign off on the measures next week before parliament passes them into law, Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said Friday.

After a decade in power, Merkel has come under fierce pressure to reverse her open-arms migrant policy.

Merkel has seen her long-stellar poll ratings slide ahead of three state elections in March. A poll published Friday by news weekly Focus found that 40 percent of respondents want Merkel to resign.