Merkel’s remarks on Saturday were in stark contrast to her earlier optimism about the influx to Germany, which has taken in far more migrants than any other European country.
Her “we can do it” slogan irritated many Germans, uneasy about the mass arrival.
“The right to asylum can be lost if someone is convicted, on probation or jailed,” Merkel said after a meeting of the leadership of her Christian Democrats (CDU) party that was overshadowed by the attacks in Cologne and other cities.
“Serial offenders who repeatedly rob or repeatedly affront women must feel the full force of the law,” Merkel told journalists in Mainz.
Under German law, asylum seekers are now typically only deported if they have been sentenced to at least three years in prison, and providing their lives are not at risk at home.
Merkel’s conservative party said it wanted to reduce and control migration to Germany, and send those who had been refused asylum home promptly. Such a move would require a change to German law.
“Cologne changed everything,” Volker Bouffier, one of the conservative party’s most senior members, told the meeting, according to people present.
Earlier in the week, German federal police said they had identified 32 people who were suspected of playing a role in the attacks on women on Cologne, 22 of whom were in the process of seeking asylum in Germany.
They documented 76 criminal acts, most them involving some form of theft, and seven linked to sexual molestation.
Of the suspects, nine were Algerian, eight Moroccan, five Iranian, and four Syrian. Three German citizens, an Iraqi, a Serb and a U.S. citizen were also identified.
Similar assaults happened in other cities such as Frankfurt.
First of all, what is this “right to asylum”? The theory behind nation-states is that they are for the protection of those within them. Using public funds to import foreigners to rob and molest citizens is nothing less than the state oppressing those whom they are supposed to protect.
And then this: “Serial offenders who repeatedly rob or repeatedly affront women must feel the full force of the law.”
So what if they only rape once? Do they get to continue to enjoy their “right to asylum”?
Economist and blogger, Mish, writes,
Who is that supposed to scare?
If illegal refugees commit multiple crimes, are caught and convicted, they will be deported, assuming of course they show up for trial or can be rounded up.
Is that a deterrent or is it an open invite for more crimes in the face of absurd leniency?
Merkel ought to admit she is in this way over her head, that she was wrong to issue a blanket invite to refugees, that she has no idea how to deal with the crisis, and most importantly, that her ideas are out of sync with German voters.
Following those admissions, Merkel should do the honorable thing: resign.
Sounds about right.