This Is Everything Trump Has Wrong About Refugees In Germany, According To Germany

Pull up a chair and let Deutschland spell it out for you.

Dear Donald Trump, president of the United States of America:

Ian Langsdon / AFP / Getty Images

Greetings from Germany! We appreciate the attention you’ve been paying to our country lately, but you’ve gotten quite a few things wrong. Don’t worry, we’d love to help you figure out what’s actually happening here.

For the folks who live offline and don't use Twitter or read the (nonfake) news, this is what you tweeted on Monday:

The people of Germany are turning against their leadership as migration is rocking the already tenuous Berlin coalition. Crime in Germany is way up. Big mistake made all over Europe in allowing millions of people in who have so strongly and violently changed their culture!

Crime in Germany is up 10% plus (officials do not want to report these crimes) since migrants were accepted. Others countries are even worse. Be smart America!

So let’s go through this point by point:

1. “Crime in Germany is way up.”

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Well, sorry to disappoint you, but that couldn't be more WRONG.

Here are the official crime statistics for 2017, released by our Federal Criminal Police and by our Federal Ministry of the Interior. Highlights if you don’t want to read the whole thing:

* Overall, Germany has the lowest crime rate in 25 years.

* If you take population growth into account, the crime rate is actually the lowest in 30 years.

2. "Crime in Germany is up 10% plus ... since migrants were accepted."

Johannes Simon / Getty Images

Okay, you’re interested in current numbers, not, you know, history. We’re happy to help! But, sorry, still WRONG.

If we have a look at the changes over the previous year only — with all these “violent” refugees living in the country — these are the numbers:

* Overall crime rate: down 5.1%

* Violent crime: down 2.4%

* Property theft: down 11.8%

* Street crime: down 8.6%

Oh, and these numbers you also might find quite interesting:

* Crimes committed by non-Germans: down 2.7%

* Crimes committed by Germans: down 2.2%

* Number of illegal border crossings: down 79.9%

3. "Officials do not want to report these crimes."

Markus Schreiber / AP

You may have guessed by now that this, too, is WRONG.

We hear this again and again. But nobody has EVER provided the slightest bit of proof that any official is hiding some secret numbers. There are a lot of conservatives in the security forces and interior departments, so if there were any order, document, mail, or whatever that could show that the government wanted to suppress the numbers, it would have been leaked.

But just to be safe, we called a police officer we know, as well as the Federal Police and the Ministry of the Interior for you. They all said the same thing: Nope, this isn’t a thing and never has been.

But you’ve said so much more than just those tweets! While we have your attention, let’s go through some of the other things we thought you should know.

4. There is a "migrant rape crisis."

Sean Gallup / Getty Images

That's also WRONG — there is no such crisis and there never has been.

Official statistics show that among refugees, the proportion of offenses against sexual self-determination in total crime is less than 1%!

Also relevant here is the fact that the willingness of women to report incidents depends greatly on how foreign the offender seems to be: An unknown, "not-german-looking" man in the park is reported more often than a colleague or relative who acted inappropriately at a party. is a site famous among right-wing social network groups. The site has a map that records alleged sexual assaults by refugees. But an investigation found that out of 291 cases, 59 were reported as rape and 47 “did not meet the criteria to be considered a criminal act." Twenty-six of the suspects in the 291 cases were refugees. “Each of the crimes committed is, of course, one too many, but the ultimate figure is low," the report concluded.

5. Young migrants are more likely to be criminal.

Kerstin Joensson / AP

We would need two minutes of your concentration now. No Twitter, no Fox News. Because: This one is both TRUE AND FALSE.

The relevant factor here is the demographics of the refugee population: The majority of them are young men. (This is because walking hundreds of miles, spending days at the open sea and fighting back against brutal criminals is incredibly hard, but even harder for old people or small children and can be more riskier for women.) It is a proven fact that young men in general are more likely to commit a crime (and, by the way, are also more likely to become victims of violence). When more young men are coming into a country, math would normally say that crime numbers go up.

So it’s not quite inaccurate! But you would be more correct — and as a president, I am sure you want to be accurate — if you'd say: Young men are more likely to become criminal, regardless of their passport, and since there are more young men among the refugees, statistics show these effects. That doesn't say anything about refugees at all, but about humans all over the world.

6. And migrants are in general more likely to become criminal.

Sean Gallup / Getty Images

Well, this one is easy: That's WRONG.

There are several statistical effects that lead to this assumption:

* Migrants are more likely to be reported to the police than "German-looking" people

* There are certain crimes that Germans cannot commit, like “violation of the residence requirement” or “illegal entry into the country,” for example.

* Tourists or transients are counted as foreigners in the statistics, raising the number to a level that includes more than refugees.

Former German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere, who is conservative, said: "All in all, the numbers show that on average refugees are just as little or often delinquent as comparable groups of the local population. The majority of them does not commit crimes, they rather seek protection and peace in Germany."

A government-sponsored survey, conducted by a criminologist, showed some interesting findings that further dash the narrative:

* Asylum-seekers, who could be recognized as war refugees and therefore have a good chance of being able to stay in Germany, are much less likely to be criminals. People who have no prospects here become criminals more often.

* Reuniting refugees with their families by allowing them to come to Germany also leads to a significantly lower crime number.

7. The country can’t afford the number of migrants it's taken in.

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That's WRONG. Germany can — but there are definitely costs.

First, some facts:

* From 2015 onward, Germany has spent more than $50 billion on asylum purposes.

* Taking care of refugees costs Germany about $23 billion each year.

* That's about 6% of the federal budget.

Now is 6% is enough to be called a "crisis"? Nope. Not only because Germany’s economy and tax income situation are quite good, with an unemployment rate of 5.5% — but also because of the fact that the money spent on refugees flows back into the German economy. People buy food with this money, apartments are rented, clothes and language courses are bought. With taxes on everything and people earning the money, that money isn’t lost or burned or destroyed. Rather, it stimulates the economy.

8. There are "no-go zones" in Germany.

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We also would consider that WRONG — although some areas are a little dodgy.

Like every country in the world and every big city, Germany has areas where more crimes are committed more than in other areas. There are also areas where the number of migrants is quite high. And it is okay to feel uncomfortable when you're unfamiliar with an area.

Sadly, there are also some areas where it could be dangerous for specific people. For people who are Jewish or part of the LGBT community, it can be dangerous to walk through certain streets in Berlin’s Neukölln neighborhood, for example. But even then, any danger is the exception instead of the rule. Again, to be very clear, these places are few and far between.

What does exist, and has for years now, are areas where migrants are not safe. Since the 1990s we have seen mostly in rural areas in East Germany that people with a "non-German look" are not safe. This is well-known — and officially confirmed.

9. "The people of Germany are turning against their leadership."

Sean Gallup / Getty Images

Sorry, but WRONG.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is still the politician with the highest approval rate. The latest figures show that more than 80% of her party’s voters support her policies more than 60% of the voters among other parties support them.

Who is turning against Merkel and her government then? The 10–15% of Germans who would vote for the right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD) party. That's not "the people of Germany." Everyone else seems more or less okay with Merkel's course.

10. Integration isn't working.

Sean Gallup / Getty Images

That's somewhat TRUE — but not how you’d think.

Integration in Germany could be doing better — not because of the refugees or any cultural clashes, but because of the state and the bureaucracy.

Here’s some of the things refugees have against them:

* Most refugees are not allowed to work. But with work comes integration. You earn your own money — and pay taxes. You have to speak the German language. Your day has structure instead of everyday boredom. And your life at least makes some sense.

* For years, most refugees in Germany were not allowed to travel the country.

* Being able to take part in language courses or get recognition of certificates is more than tricky.

* Social interaction still is completely dependent on volunteers.

* It's the same thing with getting support when it comes to interaction with agencies and public authorities or finding a lawyer or a school, for example.

11. The number of terror attacks has gone through the roof since the refugees arrived.

Markus Schreiber / AP

There are Islamic militants but their number is so low that we have to consider this statement WRONG.

Since 2014, Germany has seen seven Islamic-related attacks that resulted in the deaths of 13 people.

That sounds horrible — and it is — but keep in mind that 12 out of those 13 victims are related to the single attack in which a truck crashed into a Christmas market. And no European country has welcomed more refugees in than Germany. So, the relationship between refugees and terror attacks is clearly not very strong. That doesn't mean that there are no militants among the refugees, but their number is extremely low and and measures taken by security authorities are working.

12. Merkel’s decision to open the borders encouraged refugees and led to a swelling number of arrivals.

Maja Hitij / AFP / Getty Images

Funny, because that's WRONG ON MULTIPLE LEVELS.

First, Merkel hasn't decided to open the borders. They were already open. We’re part of the Schengen Agreement, which means you can fly from Berlin to Athens and from Copenhagen to Vienna (or between whichever two places within the EU) without any passport controls. That’s the 21st century for you and it’s great!

Second, the data is clear and leaves no doubt. Merkel’s decision to not close the borders didn't encourage people to leave their homes and go on an uncertain journey over thousands of miles. Those fleeing were already on their way.

13. But Germany as a nation is disappearing?!

Sean Gallup / Getty Images

Well, my friend, let us tell you something: No nation is forever. And yes, culture is changing. Otherwise it would be called duplication instead of culture.

The birth deficit in Germany is about 200,000 people per year. So every year, 200,000 fewer are born than die. In 2035, 30% of Germany will have hit the retirement age. The fact is the German economy is enormously endangered by aging. Even today manufacturers, auto shops, care facilities, industrial producers, and many, many more are in desperate search of employees.

So, bringing new people into the country who are willing to work, produce, serve, live, and pay their taxes here is indeed a good idea. We are sure that your father knew this is true and you do too. That's not a matter of taste or opinion, that's math.

14. "Be smart, America!"

That's a quote, Mr. President, because you tweeted it. We'd like to underline that. Be smart, people: If in doubt of anything, just ask us. We like you. We will answer.

And we are not afraid of people who lost their homes, families, friends, and loved ones in a war.




A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.