This comes after North African migrants gained widespread attention following group sexual assaults reported on New Year’s Eve on the women of Cologne, Germany. The suspects were described as being “of North African appearance.”

According to BBC, this is not the only instance for which North African men are being investigated. Police targeted North African gangs suspected of pickpocketing, mugging and drugs offenses about 30 miles from Cologne, and police also detained 40 North African men in Duesseldorf on Saturday.

Germany has faced challenges expelling Algerian and Moroccan migrants, because their countries have been unwilling to accept them without proper identifying documents, according to German media reports.

Even if North African countries agree to take some of their citizens back, the process for repatriation is lengthy. BBC noted that it takes more than a year for German authorities to decide if to accept or reject an asylum application, by which time the migrant may have settled into the new country and may have gotten a job.

Germany’s vice chancellor Gabriel said the government aimed to “get the numbers down and secure the EU’s external borders.”

H/T TheBlaze