Authorities in German capital Berlin are considering allowing rejected asylum seekers the right to stay in the country if they are the victims of far right violence.
Berlin's interior minister Andrea Geisel told newspaper Tagesspiegel on Sunday that city authorities were investigating how to introduce the rule, after a similar measure was introduced by state authorities in Brandenburg.
"I find an exemption, as Brandenburg has introduced, to be a strong political signal to those who believe that whoever wants to chase refugees out of the country must attack them," Geisel told Tagesspiegel.
"To this I say: no. Whoever is a victim of far-right violence will enjoy our double protection and will not be deported."
Under the measures introduced by Brandenburg's Ministry of the Interior, failed asylum seekers who are witnesses or victims of far right crime are able to remain in the country until at least the conclusion of police investigations and trials, with some allowed to stay in the country beyond this as reparation.
Asylum seekers who are themselves deemed a security threat or who commit crimes will not be subject to the exemption.
Critics have called on failed asylum seekers to be deported more quickly, and according to reports Germany is considering cutting aid to countries who refuse to take back citizens whose asylum applications were rejected.
The entry of millions of asylum seekers and immigrants into Germany in 2015 has led to a spike in hate crimes, with 800 attacks on refugee shelters recorded in the first ten months of 2016.
Many such attacks are believed to be coordinated by far right groups on social media.