Austrian police have said that an increasing number of migrants without travel documents are being sent from Germany with most of the migrants coming from Afghanistan, Morocco and Algeria.
Police spokesman David Furtner of Upper Austria state told AFP: "The daily number of migrants being turned back has risen from 60 in December to 200 since the start of the year." Austrian police added that most of the migrants arriving from Germany wanted to seek asylum in countries outside Germany, like Scandinavia.
The news comes amid rising racial tension and pressure on German authorities to control security following the Cologne New Year's Eve mass sexual assaults by men of North African and Arab appearance. A total of 90 women were reportedly sexually harassed and robbed outside the city's iconic Gothic cathedral on 31 December, according to police.
Cologne refugee worker Behshid Najafi, 59, says the emerging refugee influx into Germany can be tackled if certain other issues can be addressed, adding that: "We can do it, as Mrs Merkel has said, if we get affordable housing, legal certainty for refugees, education, jobs, training and German courses."
"Otherwise they will be pushed to the margins of society. We will not manage it if they just stay in sports halls, without work, without a future, without language skills... Seventy percent of them are men. I fear within a year many could turn to crime. The drug mafias and criminal gangs are just waiting to recruit them."
Referring to the Cologne New Year's Eve sexual assaults, Hake Aydin, 42, a Cologne Turkish community leader, told France24 News: "There has been a mixed mood... Many who supported the refugees may have worried: What have we done? Did we bring this problem upon ourselves? I don't think the mood is tipping."