The German court system is on the brink of collapse due to the increasing number of asylum complaints, a German judge warned on Thursday.
"The situation is dramatic for administrative courts," said Association of German Administrative Law Judges Chair Robert Seegmüller, as reported by the Local Germany. "We are now completely stretched to our limits." The number of people bringing legal challenges to their asylum request decisions has overwhelmed administrative courts, the organization's chair said.
There are currently around 250,000 asylum decisions waiting to be challenged in German courts, according to data released by German publishing group Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland (RND).
"The administrative court system cannot endure such a figure in the long run. At some point, everything will collapse," Seegmüller said, adding: "Things may go well for a while, but not permanently.
"The justice system is indeed determined to bulk itself up, but it is ever more difficult to find the desperately needed personnel."
Germany, the EU's most populous country, has taken in over 1 million asylum seekers since 2015, about half of them from war-torn Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. The influx has sparked both a large wave of volunteerism and an anti-foreigner backlash that has seen a spate of hate crimes targeting migrants and refugees. Since October 2014, Germany has witnessed several anti-migrant demonstrations and racially motivated attacks organized by far-right extremist groups. The marches have grown much larger with growing support from disenchanted Germans who opposes the Islamization of their country with the rise in number of migrants seeking shelter.
With national elections are less than two months away, German Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) temporarily lost support over her government's refugee policies last year. Merkel has long suffered from low popularity, cutting a lonely figure in her struggle to resist pressure to change her open-door refugee policy. Now, the chancellor's CDU seems to be bucking the pan-European trend of an erosion of support favoring mainstream political parties. Merkel's CDU won a decisive victory in Germany's most populous state in May, an auspicious sign for her chances of re-election in a national poll on Sept. 24. German society has been polarized by the influx of some 890,000 asylum seekers last year, with another 213,000 submitting applications in the first nine months of 2016. Although fewer migrants entered the country in 2016, far-right parties have called for an immigration cap.