I usually don't offer Germans a lot of advice (based on attempted occasions to give my German wife advice). Maybe it's because they are full of "wisdom" (they might claim this) or that they just hate getting advice from an American (just something that bothers them badly).
So, on the topic of how to handle the AfD Party....the anti-immigration party....I would offer these ten pieces of advice.
1. You've obviously run a pretty marginalized immigration, migrant, and refugee program for this significant number of Germans to notice, and have a pretty firm negative opinion. Even those who still support you (whether you are FDP, CDU, CSU, Linke Party, Green Party or SPD)....probably half of your supporters who remained with you....are not that thrilled with your accomplishments now. You need to come clean and just admit that there were probably twenty to thirty screw-ups and you really want to start a process of fixing the issues. Truth is hard to swallow but you need to get back on the good side of people.
2. Tell the idiots over at the state-run TV business that they'd best stick with the news and not get back into the propaganda business or throw out more "you must be stupid" talk at the general public. You might want to mention to the state-run TV folks that more than 70-percent of the public questions their ethics and has some doubt about their "news".
3. Go back to the Basic Law and write a correction that identifies different types of visas....for the war refugee, the migrant in search of a job with skills or college, the migrant with no skills or college, and the gays/Christians who might face harassment. Then assign a yearly number to these folks. Once you cross the line....don't accept anymore till next year. If your refugee centers are full....don't accept anymore. If your job-market doesn't have openings, don't get all hyped up to bring people in to be on welfare or Hartz IV.
4. Accept the fact that people can have different opinions and not agree with you.....and that they might vote for another party besides the SPD or CDU.
5. Be honest with the public if your population situation is in dire straits and you will have 65-to-68 million in population by 2035 (down from the 82-million of today). Explain the facts, and make it blunt.
6. Make a blunt appeal across to all migrants and immigrants that crime and misbehavior won't be accepted. If someone has a tendency to repeat bad behavior or crime....deny them their visa and send them home. If they won't go home....put them into a special camp and let them know that the 'cake-walk' is finished and they simply aren't guests any longer.
7. Make migrants applying for visas do it from their home country. Promise to approve or disapprove their case in eight weeks. If approved, give them a plane ticket into Germany. If they just show up in Germany.....deny them any application paperwork until they have returned to their home country. These BAMF folks who grant or deny visas.....if they haven't gotten their act together by this point....you might need to retire some people within the organization.
8. Treat war refugees different from migrants. They deserve special treatment. Migrants don't.
9. Define xenophobia. After you define it.....ask which German mental health specialists over the past year wrote up an individual and identified them with such a phobia. Zero, might get brought up at this point. Ask them for the treatment plan (there isn't any). Ask if this whole xenophobia gimmick was fake, and see everyone grins. If you think you've been over-using the xenophobia thing.....well....yeah, you might have.
10. If you don't want to mess with the nine suggestions I've made.....then accept this suggestion. For you SPD and CDU folks....if you can't get more than 45-percent of the vote between the two of you....then your days of leadership are coming to an end. Look toward the lesser parties to carry the bulk of national politics and agendas. It's a harsh world where you lose public confidence and the lesser parties pick up your frustrated voters. So, find new occupations and ask around at university operations for lecture positions. Don't think about going over to state-run TV....their days might be numbered as well.
Note, I might also suggest that a fresh new Chancellor in 2017 is now a necessity....more or less. Also note.....you've done the manager-Chancellor thing for a good long while now.....I might go and find a leader-Chancellor for the next four years.
Just some advice from a humble observer.