Germany’s Interior Minister Horst Seehofer on Tuesday apologized for the scandal in which the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) has been mired, Deutsche Welle reported. Seehofer told a closed-doors parliamentary committee hearing that lasted five hours that he wanted to reform the way asylum requests are processed in Germany. He is on the record with a plan to house asylum seekers in “anchor centers” while their applications are being processed.
The Bremen, northern Germany, BAMF office is at the core of the scandal, where an estimated 1,000 asylum applications have been mismanaged and wrongly approved by a team of 70 employees—all of whom are now under investigation. The Interior Ministry will review 18,000 asylum applications approved in Bremen.
In published by German on Tuesday,
The BAMF staff council, led by chairman Rudolf Scheinost and deputy chairman Paul Müller, on Tuesday published an open letter in the newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, claiming the errors were the fault of the agency’s upper-management, which pressured staff to process asylum applications faster (schnell).
“The so-called executives, and not the low-ranking employees of the federal office, must be in focus,” Scheinost and Müller wrote.