Angela Merkel is considering making Germany’s immigration laws tougher in the wake of the Cologne attacks on New Year’s Eve.
The German Chancellor said that she will look at making it easier to deport immigrants who commit crimes.
Under current laws, people seeking asylum in the country are only forcibly sent back to their country of origin if they have been sentenced to at least three years in prison. Additionally they can only be deported if their lives are not at risk if they return.
But it is now expected that members of Merkel’s Christian Democrat party will push for new rules which would cause migrants jailed for any length of time to be deported, the BBC reported.
The organised attacks in Cologne on New Year's Eve are said to have happened when about 1,000 men - described as coming from "the Arab or North African region" - split into gangs after being dispersed by officers for throwing fireworks into the crowd of revellers.
Some 31 suspects, including 18 asylum seekers, are under investigation over the offences, Germany's interior ministry said.
The Mayor of Cologne sparked a fierce backlash following her comments earlier this week that women should adopt a "code of conduct" to prevent future sexual assaults in the city.
Speaking on Tuesday, Henriette Reker instructed women on how they could 'protect' themselves, suggesting they stay in groups, not be separated, always try and keep their distance and always stay an arms length away from strangers.
She said: “There’s always the possibility of keeping a certain distance of more than an arm’s length – that is to say to make sure yourself you don’t look to be too close to people who are not known to you, and to whom you don’t have a trusting relationship," she said.
She also advised women to not be in a celebratory mood.
The incidents have reignited calls from right-wing groups to shut down migration to Germany, which has taken in more than a million people in the last year amid the migration crisis, mostly from the Middle East.
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