BERLIN (AP) — Official figures show more than 1.8 million people have applied for asylum in Germany in the past five years.
The figures, first reported Friday by German daily Bild, show a sharp rise in asylum requests from 123,581 in 2013 to 723,938 in 2015. This year to date, figure has returned to about 2013 levels.
In a response to a question from opposition Free Democratic Party lawmakers, the government said almost a third of asylum-seekers — about 573,000 — originated from Syria.
The second and third most numerous groups were Afghans and Iraqis, with about 203,000 and 176,000 applicants respectively since 2013.
Germany’s interior minister, Horst Seehofer, told weekly Der Spiegel that Syrian asylum-seekers convicted of crimes aren’t currently being deported to their home country, as demanded by some German politicians.