Germany: family reunification could double number of Syrians

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German officials say the country's migration agency calculated that each Syrian who has arrived in the country could on average eventually be joined by one more, under rules allowing family reunification.

Interior Ministry spokesman Tobias Plate confirmed Wednesday a report by the daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung that the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees reached the conclusion in an internal paper last November. He cautioned that the office's prediction doesn't make account of a legal change since then that may make it harder for some Syrians to bring relatives to Germany.

German authorities registered over 428,000 Syrians as asylum-seekers last year and nearly 72,000 in the first five months of this year.

Officials say the calculation appears plausible. Some people have speculated that family reunification could produce a much larger influx.