Germany's police union is calling for a return to passport controls along the border to combat a growing migrant crisis in the country and across the continent, Agence France-Presse reported. The chairman of the German Police Union Tuesday made the argument for re-regulation along inter-European borders, saying it is a good idea from a policing standpoint.
Traveling among 22 Eurozone countries and the handful of non-EU states currently does not require a passport. That zone, known as the Shengen Area, was established in 1995. Countries within that area have reinstituted border controls temporarily in certain instances, like high-profile visits from foreign heads of state or from a figure like the pope.
"From a policing point of view, a return to border controls would be the best of all measures," said Rainer Wendt, the chairman of the German Police Union. "Germany should not take the threat of bringing back [border] controls off the table too readily." Police have already ramped up security checks along some inter-European train lines, highways and at international airports.
Germany, with its strong economy, has been a particularly attractive landing spot for asylum seekers driven from their homes by violence and unrest. The country is known for being promigrant; however, there has been a push to improve checks and screenings to evaluate who coming in can best assimilate into its advanced economy. The country and police union also are interested in making sure those who are in actual need of political asylum are able to get it while barring foreign nationals not in danger.
The number of asylum-seekers entering Germany is expected to top 500,000 this year. Syria has been the biggest source as a result of its bloody civil war and the violent upheaval caused by the Islamic State group. Other major sources of asylum-seekers into Germany have been Balkan countries like Kosovo, Albania and Serbia. The prospects of receiving political asylum in Germany are better for Syrian refugees than those coming from the Balkans.