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Germany Pushes for Tougher Asylum Laws

Berlin, September 18 (RHC)-- Germany is pushing to toughen asylum laws by reducing the benefits usually given to refugees and by sending them back to the first European Union country they reach.

Germany's Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere wants the so-called Dublin Regulation, which requires people to make their asylum claims in the first EU country they enter, to be enforced again. Back in August, Berlin had said the regulation would no longer apply to Syrian refugees coming into the country.

The new policy, which is yet to be approved by the council of ministers of the country's cabinet chaired by Chancellor Angela Merkel, was seen by AFP on Thursday. If approved, it could leave tens of thousands of people who have entered Germany in recent weeks out in the cold. The law would also leave those who are refused asylum under the country's law with neither the right to work nor the right to social benefits.

Germany has become top destination for hundreds of thousands of people fleeing wars and misery in Syria and elsewhere. The country is expecting up to a million refugees in 2015, up from 200,000 last year.

Many of the asylum seekers reach Germany after taking a perilous route through the Balkans and Central Europe.

Edited by Ivan Martínez
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