Germany is reinstating temporary border controls with immediate effect, Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said Sunday, as the country buckles under pressure from a record influx of refugees.
"The aim of this measure is to stop the current influx to Germany and to return to an orderly process," he said, according to the AFP news agency, as the city of Munich recorded an influx of 63,000 asylum seekers in two weeks.
"It is also urgently needed due to security reasons," he added.
Additionally, Berlin will no longer allow refugees to pick which European countries should host them, de Maiziere said Sunday, essentially reversing a measure that has sent record numbers of asylum seekers into Europe's top economy.
Hundreds of German police officers were later mobilized to carry out border checks, a spokesman for the federal force told AFP.
"We are mobilizing hundreds" of officers, the spokesman said.
De Maiziere said that the asylum seekers must understand that "they cannot chose the states where they are seeking protection."
"Under current European rules, Germany is not the authority responsible for most of the asylum seekers, and the registration process stands for all member states in the future. That means that a member state should not only register but also carry out the asylum process," he added.
Under EU rules, the first country of entry is required to deal with the asylum seeker's request for protection. But Germany had earlier in practice waived the rule for Syrian refugees, noted AFP.
Earlier this week it was reported that 21 out of the thousands of refugees that arrived in Germany over recent months were placed in barracks that belonged to the Nazi extermination camp Buchenwald.
The asylum seekers, some of the whom have been living in the camp for months, are now waiting to be moved to a new location. The government is giving them only €135 ($153 US) for food and necessities while they wait for new residences.
Christian Hanke, the mayor of the Mitte district in Berlin, explained, "It is an emergency solution, but it is unavoidable. There is a lot of room in the hangars."
European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker last week presented a proposal for mandatory quotas of refugees for EU states.
Under the proposal, Germany and France would take nearly half of the 120,000 refugees to be relocated from frontline states.
Germany would take 31,443 and France 24,031, while Spain would take 14,931.
Reports emerged last week that, due to the tidal wave of migration from the Middle East and North Africa, Bulgaria and Hungary were looking into the possibility of putting up Israeli steel security fences along parts of their borders.
Hungary and Bulgaria have made preliminary inquiries about buying Israeli-designed fences, like the ones along Israel's barrier with Egypt, according to an Israeli business source who declined to be named.
(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Rosh Hashanah in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)