In a sign Germany’s so-called “welcome culture” to migrants may be fraying, the German state parliament of North Rhine-Westphalia, the largest state in Germany, voted against the admission of migrants with the votes of four major parties, according to WDR.
The Christian Democratic Union (CDU), the Social Democratic Party (SPD), the Free Democratic Party (FDP) and the Alternative for Germany (AfD), all voted together against accepting any refugees.
The Green Party had previously submitted an application to admit unaccompanied minors and other vulnerable refugees, with the party asking to transport 5,000 migrants from Greece to North Rhine-Westphalia. Their asylum procedures were then supposed to be processed in Germany.
The rejection comes on the heels of a new poll released in Germany, which shows that only 32 percent of Germans support the idea of Germany taking in more migrants while 44 percent are opposed. Another 15 percent do not know what their position is on the issue.
Germany just announced it would be taking in 1,500 migrant minors at the federal level, but it is still unclear which German states will be accepting them. The latest vote in North Rhine-Westphalia means it is unlikely they will be distributed there.
There have been concerns in the past that migrants have lied about their age in order to facilitate entry into Europe. For example, an incredible 84 percent of “child migrants” who were tested by Swedish government were actually adults aged 18 or older, according to a report from the BBC.
In front of the North Rhine-Westphalia state parliament building, members and supporters of the refugee organization “Seebrücke” demonstrated for more migrants.
Spokesman Patrick Schiffer emphasized that there are not only many free places for refugees in North Rhine-Westphalia, but there must also be a willingness to accept them.
Düsseldorf’s mayor agrees with that sentiment.
“We have space for such people in NRW right now and should agree to accept them and help them.” said Düsseldorf Mayor Thomas Geisel (SPD) said there are 500 free places for refugees in the state capital.
He says Germany most take in more migrants, and he is not the only one. Other cities and municipalities from North Rhine-Westphalia had also offered to accept migrants. Under the motto “We have space“, pro-migrant German politicians and activists have been promoting the idea that despite taking in over a million migrants, Germany still has plenty of space for more.