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(CNN) —  

Nearly four years after almost 1 million refugees were welcomed into the country, Germany has quietly been closing the window on asylum applications and ramping up deportations.

This trend has continued even as the number of people arriving in Europe has dropped 80% since the height of the migrant crisis in 2015, according to the UN.

On Wednesday, Interior Minister Horst Seehofer announced that in 2018 Germany received about 185,000 asylum applications, a drop of 17% from last year, and far fewer than the 2015 peak of 890,000.

“We now have the problem under control. We have put things in order,” said Seehofer. “We offer protection for people who are vulnerable. However, the population will only accept asylum rights if we can repatriate those who don’t need to be protected.”

Seehofer proudly stated that the number was well within the “upper limit” to migration agreed by Germany’s coalition government.

Applications dropping, deportations rising

But what he didn’t say was that while the number of applications is dropping, the number of deportations appears to be rising.

Interior Ministry figures provided in response to a question from lawmakers from The Left party show that following the migrant crisis the number of deportations nearly doubled to 20,000 a year and have stayed roughly at that level ever since, despite the steep drop in arrivals.

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Last year, more than 8,000 people were sent back to the European Union states they first arrived in.