Around 55,000 migrants who were not eligible for or were refused asylum left Germany voluntarily between January and November 2016, up by 20,000 from the total number who left voluntarily in 2015, a newspaper reported Wednesday.
Germany has toughened its stance on immigration in recent months, prompted by concerns about security and integration after admitting more than 1.1 million migrants from the Middle East, Africa and elsewhere since early 2015.
Last week a failed asylum seeker who had sworn allegiance to the Islamic State militant group killed 12 people when he rammed a truck into a Christmas market in Berlin, fueling growing criticism of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s immigration policy.
The Sueddeutsche Zeitung quoted government data showing the number who returned to their homes in the first 11 months of the year. Most returned to Albania, Serbia, Iraq, Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iran, the newspaper said. Those leaving are eligible for one-off support of up to 3,000 euros.