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efms Migration Report

August 2000

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Right-wing extremism and xenophobia

The Federal Government has nominated a committee to examine whether the preconditions have been met for making an a petition to ban the NPD. The committee includes representatives of the Federal Ministry of the Interior, of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, and representatives of the Länder. The results are to be submitted in mid-October, so that the decision concerning a petition can be made in November. The ban of the party is controversial: Whilst the deputy Chairman of the Police Trade Union (GdP), Konrad Freiberg, believes that banning the NPD could help to destroy the right-wing radicals" logistical network, the head of the SPD in North Rhine-Westphalia, Fritz Behrens, points out that it would be difficult to monitor the activities of the right-wing scene if the party were to be banned. The Federal Government has made available DMß75 million for projects to combat right-wing extremism. Federal Minister of the Interior, Otto Schily (SPD), has announced a more active role of the Federal Border Police against Neonazis. Several Ministries of the Interior of the Länder have decided to prosecute right-wing extremists with greater "stringency and consistency" in future. Other measures include informing young people about the problem and to improve protection of Jewish facilities. The GdP calls for an inter-regional register on right-wing extremist violent offenders. According to statistics provided by the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution and the police, there already have been four deaths from right-wing extremist violence this year. In the first half of 2000, investigations were pending for 838 people for 760 criminal offences. From April to June 2000, there were 157 anti-Semitic crimes, compared with 110 crimes in the same period of the previous year.
FAZ 2.8.00 // Spiegel online 2.8.00 // Spiegel online 7.8.00 // Spiegel online 9.8.00 // Spiegel online 10.8.00 // Spiegel online 16.8.00

Independent Commissions on Migration

Federal Minister of the Interior, Otto Schily (SPD), has appointed the entrepreneur Vural Öger, who is of Turkish origin, to the Independent Commission on Migration. Öger is the founder and majority shareholder of the travel operator Öger-Tours, and is the first member of the Independent Commission on Migration to be of foreign origin. According to the head of the CDU Independent Commission on Migration, Peter Müller (CDU), a benchmark paper is to be submitted by the end of the year. It will be especially important to set out the criteria and quota according to which immigration should be controlled. According to Müller, quotas are needed, "as in other European countries". Müller considers a total immigration of 300,000 persons per year acceptable.
dpa 13.8.00 // Spiegel online 13.8.00 // BMI Press Announcement 31.8.00

Green Card

In the first three weeks of August, 938 work permits have been issued nationally for IT specialists, 245 of them in Bavaria, 207 in Baden-Württemberg, 177 in North Rhine-Westphalia and only 33 in the new Länder. 158 of the specialists come from India, 157 from Russia, Belarus, Ukraine and the Baltic and 96 from Romania. 89% of them are college graduates, and 11% have an annual salary of DMß100,000 or more. The fact that the predicted "boom" has failed to materialize is said to be due to the conduct of employers, who are very hesitant in recruiting staff. The head of the "Trust 7" Green Card Service, Detlef von Hellfeld, reports that, in addition, some Green Card applications had been withdrawn for fear of right-wing extremism in Germany. The Federal Government is at present discussing the extent to which the employment of foreign students during their studies can be made easier, and whether a Green Card arrangement for foreign students who study subjects other than IT would be possible.
Welt 16.8.00 // NN 18.8.00 // Welt 24.8.00 // dpa 31.8.00

Asylum law

The Federal Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe has rescinded two judgements of the Federal Administrative Court according to which Afghan refugees were refused asylum. The Federal Administrative Court is said to have used a "too narrow definition" of quasi-state persecution, and to have consequently "pushed too far" the requirements to be met by political persecution. Whether, in a civil war, persecution enforced by a party should be largely judged according to whether that side in the civil war has established a "power structure of a certain stability" in at least a "core territory" in the sense of a "predominant peace framework". In response to the Federal Constitutional Court decision, Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger (FDP), Member of the Human Rights Committee of the Federal Parliament, called for statutory amendments to the Asylum Procedure Act (Asylverfahrensgesetz) and to the Foreigners Law to accept non-state persecution as grounds for asylum. The UNHCR and Pro Asyl welcomed the decision and hope that it will clear the way for a proper discussion of non-state persecution. The Federal Office for the Recognition of Foreign Refugees reacted to the decision by staying all asylum cases where quasi-state persecution is to be considered. This affects almost 2,500 asylum cases relating to Afghan refugees in the first half of this year. Lüneburg Administrative Court decided that Roma and Ashkali from Kosovo must be protected from deportation even if they have called themselves "Albanians" in the asylum cases, since they are subject to massive persecution in Kosovo by Albanians.
FR 19.8.00 // dpa 21.8.00 // FAZ 23.8.00 // FR 26.8.00 // FR 28.8.00

Berlin CDU plans individual integration programs

The Berlin CDU has announced a Bundesrat (upper house of the German parliament) initiative on the integration of new immigrants. Following a Dutch model, immigrants are to be assisted with individual integration programs to "help them to help themselves", according to the Interior Policy spokesman of the CDU, Roland Gewalt. An integration survey is to decide on the duration and level of teaching; the core of the course system is to be an integration contract between the Land and the immigrants. Language teaching is to culminate in a certificate-based examination which will make it easier to obtain a work permit. According to Gewalt, immigrants would expect fines, cuts in social assistance or consequences for their asylum status if they fail to adhere to such agreements. Berlin"s Commissioner for the Interests of Foreigners, Barbara John (CDU) and the SPD"s spokesman on migration policy, Thomas Kleineidam, are against these types of sanction. Gewalt presumes that such a bill will be ready by the beginning of next year. The Bund would have to budget for an additional approximately DMß600 million for the program.
SZ 18.8.00

Aussiedler statistics

8,120 ethnic German immigrants (Spätaussiedler) were registered in August in Germany. This is a fall of 1,254 persons in comparison with the previous month. 7,087 persons were counted in August of the previous year. According to a study by the Bavarian Criminal Police Office, Aussiedler are no more or less criminal than native Germans. Since crime statistics only distinguish between Germans and foreigners, the data on Aussiedler were separated using places of birth in states of origin typical of Aussiedler. If there is a problem group among Aussiedler, according to Social Secretary of State Georg Schmid and Minister of the Interior Günther Beckstein (CSU), it is young Aussiedler who hardly speak German. Up-to-date information concerning policy on repatriates has been made available since August at
NN 11.8.00 // BMI Press Announcement 4.9.00

Asylum statistics

7,507 persons applied for asylum in Germany in August 2000, an increase of 978 persons compared to the previous month. In comparison to August 1999, this is a fall of 1,389 asylum applications (-15.7%). For the first time since September 1997, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia is no longer asylum seekers" main country of origin, but Iraq. 274 persons (3.5%) were recognized as entitled to asylum; protection against deportation was granted to 664 persons (8.4%) in accordance with the Geneva Convention for Refugees.
BMI Press Announcement 6.9.00

August 2000

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