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"Everything Will Collapse" German Judge Warns As Refugees Flood System With Appeals

Hundreds of thousands of migrants who’ve appealed decisions by Germany’s immigration courts have brought the country’s legal system to the brink of collapse, a German judge warned on Friday.

More than 1.3 million migrants have arrived in Germany since the beginning of 2015. Since then, the sheer number of cases filed has overwhelmed the civil courts of the country, said Robert Seegmuller, chairman of the Association of German Administrative Law Judges, speaking to the publishing house Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland.

“The situation is dramatic for administrative courts,” Seegmuller told RND. “We are now completely stretched to our limits.”

Seegmuller had been complaining since spring about the number of lawsuits being filed against the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees. Thousands of applicants have challenged decisions delivered on their cases by the office, including deportation orders back to potentially unsafe countries such as Afghanistan. RND estimates there are approximately 250,000 asylum-related cases waiting to be brought before the courts.

“The administrative court system cannot endure such a figure in the long run. At some point, everything will collapse,” Seegmüller warned. “Things may go well for a while, but not permanently.”

Just like in the US, where illegal immigrants have plotted to launch mass appeals to slow down the immigration process, the German legal system is struggling with a shortage of judges and other personnel, the judge added.

In recent months, Germany's migrant situation, which had been pushed off the front pages after the late 2015 and early 2016 turmoil, one again reemerged drmatically, following reports that a group of right-wing German soldiers allegedly plotted the assassinations of left-wing politicians, intending to blame the crimes on migrants. One suspect had obtained a second identity as a Syrian refugee, leading to a review of some 100,000 asylum decisions, which in turn has throttled the German immigration system, nearly bringing it to a standstill, and created an even greater backlog of admissions.