The system is breaking down. In 2011, German border agents noted 21,156 illegal entries. Last year the number increased to 25,670, and this year there had already been 23,000 illegal entries by the end of September. “We now have uncontrolled immigration,” says a German Federal Police officer. Laws and agreements are being ignored in places like Italy, Poland and Greece.
On Aug. 23, the Italian police detained 27 Syrians and one Afghan on board the Eurocity train from Verona to Munich. By law, they should all have been entered into the Eurodac fingerprint database for asylum seekers, since they had filed asylum applications in Italy. Oddly enough, however, not one of them appeared in Eurodac. “The Italians are no longer fingerprinting many of their asylum seekers,” says a frustrated German Federal Police officer.
This is to prevent other EU countries from immediately sending them back to Italy, as provided under the Dublin Regulation. Italy also sometimes gives refugees €500 and provides them with a tourist visa, or “titolo di viaggio.” About 300 of these phony tourists are now living on the street in Hamburg, dependent on the charity of churches and other aid organizations.
Every day, several hundred refugees from the Russian Federation, mostly Chechens, try to enter Poland. By the end of September, 13,492 had ended up in to Germany in 2013, an increase of 754 percent over the first nine months of 2012. Because Poland can’t handle that many Chechens, the authorities allow the refugees to continue on to Germany — even if it’s a violation of the Dublin Regulation.
In Chechen traffickers spread the rumor that Germany is greeting Chechen refugees with open arms and paying them a €4,000 welcome bonus. They guarantee refugee status on websites like transfer.vov.ru, and when asked if refugees who are not being politically persecuted will run into any problems, they say: “Absolutely not. All you have to do is prepare a decent story. And our immigration lawyers take care of that.” The traffickers charge a fee of €8,000 for the service, which suggests that those coming to the EU aren’t exactly the weakest and poorest.