By: Valerie Johnston

In 2016, more than 41,500 crimes of a political nature were recorded in Germany. More than 4,300 of those were considered violent, and in an immigration climate that includes the refugee crisis, all eyes are on the clash between anti-migrant voters and those who support open immigration. According to statistics released by the German interior minister, no one is expecting the number of politically-charged crime to drop any time soon.

This news comes out on the heels of the April 22 Cologne protest, were police cars were set on fire in one act of violence, and a series of terror attacks and sexual assaults has become a constant feature in the news. In non-violent crime spikes, the biggest concern for the German government is the higher rate of illegal entry and overstaying visas. During 2016, these cases rose by nearly 5%. But what the numbers revealed about the true perpetrators of all political crimes across the board in Germany has many right-wing activists feeling validated.

According to the numbers released at the end of April, 30% of all political crimes recorded in 2016 were committed by non-German suspects. This is up 53% from the rate of political crime committed by non-Germans in previous years. The steep rise in crimes committed by immigrants or asylum seekers was the main focus of the interior minister’s message. He said: “As unpleasant as these figures are as a whole, they validate our course, to clearly make distinctions according to each individual’s need for protection…those who commit serious crimes have forfeited their right of residence [in Germany].”

While he did add that the vast majority of immigrants and refugees were law-abiding, it is clear that the high rate of politically-motivated crime among this group will have an effect on Germany’s decisions regarding immigration policy in the future.