Germany's Parliament is debating new measures meant to speed up the handling of migrants and cut their numbers, as well as legislation making it easier to deport foreigners who commit crimes.

Chancellor Angela Merkel's Cabinet has already approved the package of measures and they aren't expected to meet wide resistance in Thursday's vote.

The plans involve using special centers to quickly process migrants who have little realistic chance of winning asylum.

They'll also amend laws so even a suspended prison sentence would be grounds for deportation if someone is found guilty of certain crimes — including bodily harm, sexual assault, violent theft or serial shoplifting.

Those changes come after a spate of thefts and assaults on women in Cologne on New Year's Eve, blamed largely on foreigners.