Anti-immigrant group under fire; sends busload of male refugees to Merkel’s office

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Photo: John MacDougal/AFP via YahooNews

Residents of a small town in Germany have finally had enough and sent a bus full of Syrian refugees to Chancellor Angela Merkel’s office to protest her liberal immigration policies.

Bavarian district chief Peter Dreier said his town was reeling from the effect of the migrant deluge that saw over one million refugees enter Germany last year.  “It’s time we set a limit,” the local citizens had told him, according to Yahoo News. “We are trying to help these people integrate. But that won’t work if this year we face another wave of one million, or even more.”

Dreier had reportedly told Merkel about his plan but when the bus carrying 31 Syrian men with asylum status arrived at the government building, they were only met with media. No one from Merkel’s office was there to greet them and a spokesman said in a statement that housing refugees was the responsibility of  local governments which are federally funded for the job.

Pro-refugee support groups condemned what they called a publicity stunt, with the head of one group, Guenther Burkhardt, saying that “people are being exploited for the sake of media footage.”

After two tense hours of negotiating with Berlin officials, Dreier announced he would personally pay for the refugees’ hotel accommodations for the night.  Dreier noted that he was disappointed by Merkel’s refusal to get involved, calling it “an attempt to ignore and negate” the problem, according to Yahoo.

Merkel has faced both praise and criticism for opening Germany’s borders to those fleeing persecution and war.

Dreier, who called the bus trip an “act of desperation,” said “there is no end in sight to the wave of refugees, and our country’s ability to house them in a dignified way is deteriorating rapidly.”

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