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efms Migration Report

April 1999

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For the moment, 10,000 refugees from Kosovo admitted to Germany

Due to the dramatically worsening situation in Albanian and Macedonian refugee camps, Germany admits for the moment 10,000 refugees from Kosovo as civil-war refugees in accordance with § 32a, Foreigners Act, granting them a three-month residence permit, which can be prolonged at any time. The first group of refugees will arrive on April, 7th in Nuremberg. Via a telephone hotline, the Federal Bureau for the Recognition of Foreign Refugees (BAFI) provides information to the relatives of those who have already arrived. The Federal Government stresses that the aid provided to the region still has priority, and that up to 40,000 refugees are to be accommodated in Albania. The UNHCR expects Germany to double its quota of immigrants and talks about more than 700,000 refugees having left Kosovo by the end of April. The slow policy of admission of other EU countries causes disgruntlement: According to Federal Interior Minister Otto Schily (SPD), only one third of the 32,000 accepted admissions has been carried out, but the situation of the unequal burdening of Germany during the war in Bosnia has to be avoided. The Aid Organisation for Refugees "Pro Asyl" criticises the German visa policy, since in many cases the entry of refugees is refused, although relatives living in Germany or Germans commit themselves to meet the costs. The association of lawyers "Ialana" reproaches the Foreign Ministry for employing antiquated and unrealistic reports on the situation in Kosovo; that was, according to Ialana, the reason for the judgements in cases of petitions for asylum by mid-March, when Kosovo Albanians were considered as "not persecuted as ethnic group". The Foreign Ministry officially withdraws the corresponding report at the end of April. The Administrative Court in Aachen determines that at the time being these people have a right to political asylum.
FR 7.4.99 // FAZ 8.4.99 // NN 8.4.99 // FR 17.4.99 // SZ 23.4.99 // SZ 24.4.99 // FAZ 24.4.99 // FR 30.4.99

UCK: 50,000 volunteers in Germany for fight in Kosovo

According to Sabri Kicmari, Foreign Representative of the separatist Kosovo Liberation Army, about 50,000 Kosovo Albanians in Germany are prepared to fight against the Serbs. The recruiting is effected on a voluntary basis, and financial aid would be accepted as well. Bavaria points out that those Kosovo Albanians, who already have been granted the right of asylum and who now decide to fight for the UCK, are allowed to enter Germany again.
SZ 12.4.99 // FR 26.4.99

Planned reform of citizenship law: Experts and opposition have doubts

At a public hearing in the Committee on Internal Affairs of the Bundestag, some of the experts and associations expressed their doubts about the so-called "option model" of the government coalition. Experts in Constitutional Law warn of prolonged administrative procedures, in the case of persons with double citizenship, who could evade the obligation to decide in favor of one citizenship provided in the bill. They refer to Article 16, subsection 1, Basic Law, which prohibits the withdrawal of the German citizenship. The Federal Council of Towns and Villages express their doubts as well. The CDU/CSU representatives claim not to finally discuss the bill in May "with the background of the conflict in Kosovo". According to the deputy chairman of the CDU, Jürgen Rüttgers, in case of the bill being passed they would consider an action before the Federal Constitutional Court. The Turkish Community, a holding organisation that counts with approximately 2,000 Turkish associations, refuses the "option model", as it forces the abandonment of the former citizenship and, thus, prevents the integration. This would drive a wedge in migrant families, as parents and grandparents would not achieve the German citizenship
dpa 13.4.99 // Welt 14.4.99 // NN 21.4.99 // Welt 21.4.99 // NZ 24.4.99

Another criminal Turkish minor deported from Bavaria

A 16 year old Turk living in Augsburg, who had been sentenced to a 3-years youth custody due to aggravated robbery, blackmailing, theft and maliciously inflicted bodily harm in autumn of 1997, has no right to a prolongation of his temporary residence permit, according to the Bavarian Administrative Court. The young Turk had been released on probation after one and a half years, but became active in the drug scene again. According to the court, the potential public interest in his deportation because of the risk of repeated criminal offences has to be satisfied. The deportation to Istanbul takes place on April 27th, some months after the deportation of the young Turk "Mehmet" in a similar case.
dpa 8.4.99 // FR 10.4.99 // dpa 26.4.99

Federal Government initiates "Alliance for Democracy and Tolerance"

The Federal Government appeals to a nation-wide "Alliance for Democracy and Tolerance - against Extremism and Violence", backed by representatives of big social institutions, churches, media, citizens" initiatives and sports clubs. According to Otto Schily, Federal Interior Minister, and Herta Däubler-Gmelin, Federal Minister of Justice, (both SPD), the alliance should include already existing projects against xenophobia. The political analysis of the extremism should be intensified, the cultural dialogue between different nationalities and religions extended and courage of the population to stand up for their believes should arise. The background of the initiative is the latest report of the Verfassungsschutz (Office for the Protection of the Constitution), in which, among other things, a clear increase of the supporters of extremist right-wing groups was noted.
FR 30.4.99

Successful fight against international immigrant smuggling in Poland and the Czech Republic

The police succeeded in a significant strike against immigrant smuggling at the German-Czech border. The 52 arrested persons, two of whom are Czech border-police officials, are suspected to have smuggled approximately 1,000 persons and big quantities of heroin to Germany. Since 1994, the band is supposed to have smuggled altogether about 40,000 people all across Europe, having charged up to 3,000 DM per person. In March, the Polish police in cooperation with the German and Ukrainian authorities had discovered a smuggling ring, which is suspected to have smuggled approx. 3,800 people from Asia and Central Europe to Germany in recent years. The authorities arrested 29 suspected persons. The putative principle culprits are a Somali and an Afghan, who are supposed to have invested their estimated total profits in the amount of 10 million dollars, inter alia, in restaurants.
FR 12.3.99 // FR 30.4.99

Aussiedler policy: 100,000 new entries annually regarded as "sensible number"

According to the Federal Commissioner for Aussiedler, Jochen Welt (SPD), the number of almost 100,000 entries of ethnic German immigrants from Eastern Europe last year represents a "sensible number". He declares that the language teaching should be improved and completed by adding a four-month period of practical training to achieve a better integration. The young Aussiedler, who represent a stake of about 40% of the new entering immigrants, should be contacted by more target-group specialised social workers to prevent a kind of "ghettoization". In future, the financial aid in the settlement areas will be given to development societies instead of large-scale projects for a better distribution of the funds and for a better integration of the non German inhabitants. In April, 6,532 persons of German origin entered Germany as Aussiedler.
NN 27.4.99 // BMI Press Announcement 4.5.99

Asylum statistics

In April, 6,491 persons applied for political asylum, a decline of 18.1% in comparison with the previous month. Especially the number of asylum seekers from the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, more than 80% of whom were Kosovo Albanians, decreased considerably. According to Federal Interior Minister Otto Schily (SPD), this can be put down to the refugees" hope to return soon to Kosovo, but it also points to the "extremely limited" possibility of an entry to Germany. The next countries of origin in numbers of asylum seekers were Turkey, Iraq, Afghanistan and Iran. In April, the rate of recognition was 3.6%.
BMI Press Announcement 7.5.99

April 1999

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