NDR admitted that there is no reliable data on the exact numbers of asylum seekers who are working illegally in Germany, adding that its report was based on an enquiry conducted among social workers, activists and employees working in refugee centers as well as refugees and experts in the cities of Hamburg and Berlin, and in the states of Lower Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt, RT reported.
According to NDR’s own estimates, at least 100,000 refugees living in Germany are working illicitly while experts at the universities of Tuebingen and Linz say their share could reach 30 percent of the 1.1 million asylum seekers who came to Germany in 2015. At the same time, activists and social workers in Lower Saxony and Berlin put this number at 50 percent of all refugees in Germany.
“They have to provide for their families back home” as well as to pay human traffickers, a social worker in Hamburg told NDR, adding that “some of them become really desperate, and leave the accommodation and are gone for two or three weeks, or leave in the morning and return in the evening.”
She also said that her experience over the last 10 years was that up to 50 percent of asylum seekers tried to find illegal work at some stage.
In the meantime, the German Customs Service reported that about 10 cases of refugees working illegally are being uncovered each month.