There were significantly more migrants that came from Turkey to Greece in May. On the Aegean islands, there are now over 15,000 migrants in camps that were designed to hold less than 9,000. Meanwhile, most refugees in Greece asking to be reunited with family members in Germany are rejected.
The Greek coast guard reported that 1,230 migrants traveled from Turkey to Greek islands between May 19-30. "The number (of migrants) is unusually high at the moment," an officer told German news agency dpa on Friday.
Due to the influx, registration camps for refugees on the islands of Lesbos, Samos, Chios, Leros and Kos were overcrowded. There were about 15,600 migrants in camps that were designed to hold less than 9,000. In order to improve conditions on the Greek islands, the government is trying to bring people onto the mainland.
The European Union agreed with Turkey in March 2016 that all migrants who illegally attempted to travel from Turkey to Greece could be sent back. This significantly cut the number of migrants attempting the trip over the Aegean Sea. At the height of the migrant crisis in 2015, 857,000 migrants traveled from Turkey to Greece. That number fell to 50,000 in 2018. Greece is the EU member state located closest to Turkey, where millions of refugees - mostly from Middle Eastern countries - live.
The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) said that more than 13,600 migrants have arrived in Greece since the beginning of 2019.
Germany rejects family reunification
Meanwhile, the Funke Media Group reported on Friday that the German Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) has rejected most of the applications from refugees living in Germany who asked to be reunited with family members living in Greece.
Die Linke (Left) Party had requested this information from the BAMF. The migration office said it rejected 474 out of 626 family reunification applications through the first five months of 2019. That is a rejection rate of over 75 percent.
The German government did not give any reasons as to why so many applications were rejected, according to the Funke Media Group. The Left Party and aid groups say that BAMF often rejected applications because of a lack of proper paerwork and documents.
Left Party member Gökay Akbulut said there is another important roadblack, according to the KNA news agency: "In the past we have seen that translations were demanded that would not have been necessary according to the Dublin Implementing Ordinance." Akbulut went on to say that was an "unlawful denial of justice."The Dublin Regulation of the European Union allows refugees to apply for asylum if they have family in another EU state.