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Most Germans believe cons of immigration outweigh pros: survey

According to a survey, published last week, conducted for Infratest Dimap on behalf of ARD Tagesthemen and Die Welt, the majority of Germans believe that the country tends to suffer disadvantages as a result of immigration. Just over five years ago 50% expressed this opinion, the figure is now 54%. One in three respondents thought that Germany tends to benefit from immigration, whilst 13% answered the question with ‘don’t know’.

The survey also showed that the German public’s willingness to accept refugees is in decline. Of those surveyed 52% would prefer to take in fewer refugees, compared with only 40% at the beginning of 2020, whilst 33% now say Germany should take in about as many refugees as it currently does (2020: 42%). Only 8% thought Germany should take in more refugees (2020: 11%).

According to ARD Deutschlandtrend, a large majority of Germans support the proposal that asylum procedures should be conducted at the EU’s external borders. Most recently, 79% of those surveyed were in favor, while only 11% were against.

According to the survey, refugees should be registered, recorded, and identified at the EU’s external borders. Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) had announced that she would work at the EU level to ensure that refugees are registered, recorded, and identified at the EU’s external borders.

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Last year, after a decline during the Covid-19 pandemic, there was again an increase in applications in the regular asylum system. Almost 218,000 initial applications were filed, 47% more than in 2021. The main countries of origin continue to be Syria and Afghanistan. The number of asylum applications has also continued to rise in the first few months of this year.

Confidence in all parties immigration policies waning

Confidence in the parties represented in the Bundestag to pursue a good refugee and immigration policy is declining, however. One in five (21%) still trust the Christian Democratic Union of Germany/Christian Social Union in Bavaria the most, whilst 16% see the SPD as the most trustworthy. The Alternative for Germany (AfD) had 12%, the Greens 6%, and the Left Party and Free Democratic Party 4% each.

The most common response however was none of the parties had a good refugee and immigration policy, represented in 35% of responses. That figure was 19 percentage points higher than the 16% who declared the opinion shortly before the 2021 federal election.

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