German migration agency to fingerprint all refugees
09 February 2017 15:38 GMT

Germany’s federal migration agency has stated that all its regional outposts must ensure that every refugee is fingerprinted on their arrival in the country.

The biometric border registration is vital for a bid to combat “benefit fraud” and the use of “cheat-identities,” said the Federal Migration and Refugee Office (BAMF) in a statement.

Asylum seekers are registered on the basis of their biometrical data, including fingerprints, and are given forgery-proof identity documents, the ‘arrival certificate,’” BAMF said.

However, the same also needs to be implemented on the regional level, as local authorities must “likewise be aware of the applicants’ identities,” BAMF notes.

Julia Cordt, the federal agency’s recently appointed head, says regional immigration offices now need to take the initiative to fingerprint refugees and process biometric data as well.

“They have to take the fingerprints of all people registering with them and compare the data with the central register,” Cordt told Passauer Neue Presse, as cited by Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

Government officials have warned that the ongoing influx of refugees is having a severe impact on Germany’s welfare system, insisting that the country’s asylum policy must be changed in order to alleviate the financial burden.

“[Our] population demands all-out registration and a standardized procedure for checking the identity of all refugees who have come to Germany over the past two years,” German Development Minister Gerd Mueller said in early January, according to Die Zeit.