According to the Refugee Council, it would help asylum seekers in Lower Saxony if they were distributed from the state’s accommodation to the cities more quickly than before. That would also make integration easier because the waiting times in the country’s “intermediate camps” are times of standstill for those affected, said managing director Kai Weber. “Refugees want to arrive, not be stuck in the in-between.”

Weber explained that in recent years the reception of asylum seekers in Lower Saxony had been organized in a “pragmatic and solution-oriented manner” and that the Refugee Council was confident that this would continue to be successful. However, the increasing number of arrivals and the loss of the exhibition halls in Hanover as accommodation with around 3,000 places currently mean that the accommodation of traumatized, sick or severely disabled refugees in particular is “not satisfactory in one place or another”.

Interior Minister Daniela Behrens recently announced that all of the country’s approximately 9,500 reception places were currently occupied. Therefore, halls and tents would probably have to be used to accommodate asylum seekers in the next few weeks and months. The living situation of the people who come to Germany will suffer, said the SPD politician.

The Refugee Council now fears that, in view of an intensified public debate, the right to asylum could be damaged and the living conditions for refugees could be permanently worsened. The council believes that this is not justified: the asylum numbers are still a long way from 2015, and asylum seekers only make up 10 to 20 percent of all immigrants.

In 2015, around 102,000 people applied for asylum in Lower Saxony. This year, around 19,150 asylum seekers came into the country by September 20th, as the Interior Ministry announced. War refugees from Ukraine are not included in the current figures because they do not have to apply for asylum. Recently, however, hardly any Ukrainians have come to Lower Saxony.

“It seems highly absurd and counterproductive to us that German politicians are desperately looking for new workers abroad, but do not systematically take into account the potential of refugees in order to overcome bottlenecks on the labor market and are now declaring a few hundred thousand asylum seekers a major problem.” , criticized Weber. The AfD in particular benefits from this.

On Monday, Interior Minister Behrens and the local associations will meet for a top-level discussion on the reception of refugees. The country expects the districts and cities to accept more refugees again from October 1st. Emergency occupancy is already in place at the state reception authority’s accommodations. This means that more people will be accommodated in the rooms and halls and training rooms will also be used as accommodation.

Behrens recently called on the EU and the federal government to focus more on the causes of flight and to conclude agreements with the countries of origin so that fewer asylum seekers come. The CDU, as the opposition in the state parliament, also did not rule out controls at the German border.