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ASYLUM BERLIN

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    Migrants and refugees from countries including Iraq, Syria, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, as well as regions of the Balkans and Africa arrive by special train in Berlin, Germany.
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    Newly arrived refugees and migrants walk from a train to buses that will take them to emergency shelters around Berlin.
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    A refugee sleeps on barricades while waiting to be processed by the German authorities.
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    Some of the refugees were unsure of their location when they disembarked the train. They were relieved when a photographer told them they were in Germany.
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    Buses take new arrivals to emergency shelters around Berlin - single males and families are separated and sent to different locations.
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    Every day for most of 2015, the State Office for Health and Social Affairs, anywhere between 500 and 1000 refugees arrive seeking registration in their new country.
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    A young girl sleeps while her family waits in a queue that will take them most of the day to move to the front of.
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    The German state is overwhelmed and underprepared for the 800,000 refugees they are expecting by the end of 2015. Tensions can run high at processing centers.
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    A Syrian husband and wife hold one another while they wait for their registration papers to be issued.
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    A Syrian refugee is carried to paramedics after allegedly being punched in the head by German security amid high tensions at the State Office for Health and Social Affairs.
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    One thousand migrants and refugees sleep at an emergency shelter at the Olympic Stadium on Berlin's outskirts.
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    German volunteers and American jazz musician Jocelyn B. Smith (right) celebrating Eid al-Adha with refugees at an emergency shelter.
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    Sudanese Alnour Ahmad, 29, at an illegal squat he and 23 other refugees occupy in central Berlin. The refugees living here are protesting the isolated locations they are often housed in, as well as resisting attempts by police to evict them.
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    A man files for official refugee status at the Federal Office For Migration and Refugees, or BAMF, on the outskirts of Berlin.
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    All of the German bureaucratic systems dedicated to refugee and migration issues are over whelmed and understaffed. Confusion, stress and long periods of boredom are standard.
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    A Syrian man shows his friends paperwork confirming his successful application for official refugee status. Once refugees receive their paperwork from this office, they are permitted to work and find their own housing, and after three years, are allowed to become German citizens.
Asylum Berlin

As various European countries make it more difficult for asylum seekers to enter or stay within their borders, Germany has taken the opposite stance: welcoming all refugees that can make it there and stating there is “no limit” to the number. Germany alone expects to receive least 800,000 refugees and migrants by the end of 2015.

The exodus of people from Africa, Central Asia and the Middle East to Europe is the largest movement of people since World War II. To many of these people, Germany is the destination, and Berlin is the dream – a flush European capital.

The reality is that the German system is completely overwhelmed by the enormous numbers. Offices managing refugee issues are overwhelmed, understaffed and in some cases, are falling dramatically behind in meeting demands.

A Berlin city official discussing a recent statement from the Secretary of State John Kerry proclaiming that the U.S. would receive 110,000 refugees by 2016, said “We could give that to them in a week.”

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