Germany's ruling party wants tougher immigration laws that give priority to Christian migrants instead of Muslims. The party also wants to ban full-face and partial-face veils, end dual citizenship, require that all immigrants learn German and cap the number of aslyum seekers at 200,000 a year.
Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative Bavarian allies published a paper outlining the party's calls for migrants from Europe's "Christian-occidental cultural sphere," Agence France-Presse reported Thursday. They seek to officially present the proposed rules at a meeting Friday.
"Germany must stay Germany," the paper states. "We are against our welcoming country being changed through migration and waves of refugees. We shouldn’t be the ones who adjust to migrants, the opposite should be true."
It added that "a state must decide by itself whom it accepts--it's not the migrants who decide."
Merkel has often been at odds with her party in recent years in her push to help migrants fleeing warzones in Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq and other countries relocate in Europe. The paper also calls face coverings such as the burqa, "a uniform of Islamism, a huge barrier to integration and a symbol of the repression of women that is unacceptable in our culture."
"Those who don't want to live without the burqa and niqab should find another country," it reads.
Voters have signaled they are concerned about Merkel's pro-migrant stance. Her party lost to the right-wing populist and anti-immigration Alternative for Germany in a recent state vote and Merkel's polls rating have dipped in the wake of a refugee crisis that has sent hundreds of migrants to Europe. Germany will hold national elections in 2017.
Anti-Muslim hate crimes have spiked in recent months "in an unprecedented way," Aiman Mazyek, the head of the advocacy group Central Council of Muslims, told reporters.
"Those who blame the chancellor's refugee policies alone for the AfD's poll success ignore the deep rooted racist resentments in our society," he said, referring to the Alternative for Germany party.
In the United States, Republican leaders have also called for the goverment to priortize Christian migrants and refugees over Muslim applicants. President Barack Obama called the notion un-American.
“We do not have religious tests for our compassion," he said last year.