Migrant mother holds a blanket with her teeth to keep her baby warm at the registration camp after crossing from the Macedonian border into Serbia, in Presevo, Serbia, on Sunday, Jan. 17, 2016. In bracing cold temperatures and snow storms hundreds of migrants continue to arrive daily into Serbia in order to register and continue their journey further north towards Western Europe. (AP Photo/Visar Kryeziu)
BERLIN (AP) — The head of the International Organization for Migration says Europe must avoid viewing migrants as a “security threat” following the New Year’s Eve assaults in Cologne and November’s attacks in Paris.
William Lacy Swing was in Berlin Sunday at a time when Chancellor Angela Merkel faces mounting pressure over her open-door policy toward refugees. Germany registered nearly 1.1 million people as asylum seekers last year but most other European Union countries remain reluctant to take significant numbers.
Swing told The Associated Press that Merkel and Germans in general deserve “a lot of praise and credit” for their approach, “and I think one should not let the terrible incident that happened in Cologne mar what is a very good approach to the issue.” The Cologne assaults were blamed largely on foreigners.