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efms Migration Report

August 1998

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USA criticizes German repatriation of Bosnians

The US government voiced severe criticism of the "forced mass deportations" of Bosnian civil-war refugees from Germany. The US government feels these deportations are endangering the peace process.The UNHCR also expressed concern about the destabilization of the region. The German government protested against the accusations. Federal Interior Minister Manfred Kanther emphasized that it was incorrect to speak of mass deportation considering that there were 1,200 deportees, most of whom were criminal offenders. The majority, moreover, were returning voluntarily. The Federal Commissioner for Refugee Repatriation, Dietmar Schlee pointed out that Germany was providing assistance in rebuilding the country and called again for coordination of refugee policies within the EU.
FAZ 6.8.98 // taz 6.8.98 // SZ 7.8.98

Organized immigrant smuggling is growing challenge for border police

Authorities report that the number of immigrant smugglers apprehended at the easter German borders was growing. According to the Federal Interior Ministry, in the first six months of 1998, 127 immigrant smugglers and 2,160 persons were registered who had been brought illegally into Germany in 97 large-scale smuggling operations. In comparison to the same period of the previous year, the number almost doubled. Organized immigrant smuggling has developed into a profitable business like drug dealing. As a reaction to the growing challenge presented by immigrant smuggling gangs, the Border Control Police (BGS) has increased its staff considerably. In the year 1992 there were 2,500 Border Control Officers. Soon there will be 11,000, announced Federal Interior Minister Manfred Kanther.
taz 3.8.98 // Welt 8.8.98 // FAZ 15.8.98 // FR 17.8.98

Wave of refugees from Kosovo feared

According to Pro Asyl, 200,000 Kosovar Albanians have fled their homes. Federal Minister of Development, Carl-Dieter Spranger (CSU) does not feel Germany can admit the expected flows of refugees from Kosovo, because the country"s maximum capacity had already been reached with the 450,000 refugees from ex-Jugoslavia now in Germany. Spranger further noted that the high rate of criminality among Kosovar Albanians already living in Germany was a further source of concern. Bavaria"s interior minister, Günter Beckstein (CSU) calls for setting up transit camps in Italy and Albania. He is against recognizing the Kosovar refugees as civil-war refugees because, in his opinion, Germany could not again bear the main burden. For this reason, the Federal Commissioner for Refugees, Dietmar Schlee, has again advocated a European solution to admission quotas. The minister of justice in Berlin, Jörg Schönbohm is in favor of encouraging the repatriation of Bosnian refugees in order to accommodate the new wave of refugees. The Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution announced that organizations of Kosovar Albanians in Germany would be more closely screened because it was likely that the money collected there for humanitarian aid was also used for purchasing weapons.
FR 5.8.98 // Welt 7.8.98 // NZ 15.8.98 // dpa 17.8.98

"Mehmet" and parents not to be deported for the time being

The Turkish juvenile delinquent, "Mehmet", and his parents will be permitted to remain in Germany for the time being. The appeal against the planned deportation of the boy and his parents was accepted by the Bavarian Administrative Court, since there had been "considerable legal misgivings" about the action. A final decision is expected in September.
FAZ 12.8.98 // SZ 12.8.98

Federal Constitutional Court: family separation during asylum proceedings is reasonable

Members of a family who have applied for asylum in different European countries do not have the right to be reunited for the duration of the proceedings. This was the ruling of the federal court in the case of a Kurd who had applied for asylum in Spain while his wife and child made their application in Germany.
FAZ 13.8.98 // SZ 13.8.98

Reports of torture after deportation to Turkey

According to Amnesty International and the Turkish Society for Human Rights (IHD), there has been an increase in reports of torture and maltreatment of persons deported from Germany to Turkey or expelled. Bonn, however, continues to trust Turkish government promises that deported Turks will receive just and lawful treatment. As Foreign Office reports constitute an important basis for the decisions of the Federal Office for the Recognition of Foreign Refugees (BAFI), human rights organizations have long demanded that such cases be included in the reports so that the authorities would proceed more cautiously with deportations to Turkey.
FAZ 18.8.98 // FR 25.8.98

Car rental agencies and population mobilized in campaign against immigrant smugglers

The police and the Federal Border Police (BGS) are hoping to mobilize the population in areas close to the Polish and Czech border against immigrant smuggling. To this aim they are planning to distribute leaflets entitled "Beware of immigrant smugglers". The authorities continue to appeal to car rental agencies, because immigrant smugglers are increasingly renting transport vehicles in order to illegally haul groups over the border.
dpa 20.8.98 // FR 21.8.98

Increased interest in German citizenship

In a representative survey conducted by the Offenbach research society Marplan, 57% of the 2,208 foreigners residing in Germany expressed interest in a German passport. In the previous year, the percentage of foreigners interested in acquiring German citizenship had been 54.4%. The percentage of foreigners who did not want a German passport dropped from 45.3% in 1997 to 41.8%. Younger Turks, in particular, desire naturalization. 30% of the Turks interviewed were "very interested", while another 36.1% were "somewhat interested" in German citizenship. 43.5% of the "very interested" Turks belong to the under-25 age-group. EU foreigners, on the other hand, indicated little interest in German citizenship. 61% of the Spanish, 56.7% of the Italians and 56.2% of the Greeks do not want a German passport.
NZ 20.8.98

CDU/CSU: proposals for reforming policies on aliens.

In a policy paper, the legal expert and vice-chairman of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group, Rupert Scholz, has called for improving integration opportunities for foreigners by such means as facilitating the acquisition of citizenship, while at the same time limiting immigration. German interests, he maintains, should be the decisive factor in determining further immigration. Scholz is against annual quotas as long as there is large-scale illegal immigration among rejected asylum-seekers. In Scholz"s view, Germany should follow the example of other European countries and commute the basic right to asylum to an institutional guarantee. These reform proposals have met with the opposition of the coalition partner FDP and also of the Greens, as the proposals would mean a de facto end to the right to asylum. According to Otto Schily, the chairman of the SPD parliamentary group, the Union"s policies on aliens are focussed exclusively on limitation rather than integration. The Green member of parliament, Cem Özdemir, considers the proposals to be a conglomeration of measures which, while making alien and asylum laws tougher, would have adverse effects on families and integration.
FAZ 18.8.98 // SZ 19.8.98 // dpa 19.8.98 // FR 20.8.98

Criticism of Turkish intervention in German election campaign

The CDU is furious about the involvement of Turkish politicians in the German electoral campaign. The Turkish "Republican People"s Party" (CHP) appealed to ethnic Turkish voters to vote for the SPD and Prime MinisterYilmaz recommended to naturalized Turks not to vote for the CDU. The general secretary of the "Liberal German-Turkish Union", Mehmet Daimagüler, insisted that naturalized Turks are German citizens who will not let themselves be exploited as "Ankara"s fifth column". Daimagüler called on the Foreign Office to intervene in Turkish efforts to exert political influence on Germans of Turkish origin, whose voter potential of 220,000 persons is rapidly increasing.
dpa 20.8.98 // FAZ 21.8.98

Cornelia Schmalz-Jacobsen"s term of office ends

After a seven-year term, the Federal Commissioner for Aliens is leaving office. In a memorandum in which she took stock of her period in office, she expressly advocated a legislative regulation of immigration. Germany, she said, was in need of a coherent concept for systematic integration policies. In her opinion, policies on aliens, Aussiedler (ethnic German immigrants), asylum and integration should be consolidated in a central federal agency for migration and dealt with at the European level.
FR 27.8.98 // SZ 27.8.98 // NN 27.8.98

BAFl staff conducting research in asylum-seekers" countries of origin

Since the beginning of the year, employees of the Federal Office for the Recognition of Foreign Refugees (BAFl) have been active in German diplomatic missions abroad to examine questions relevant to asylum in the refugees" countries of origin. BAFl staff members were sent first to Sri Lanka, Pakistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Turkey and later to Armenia, Georgia, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Togo and Nigeria. The BAFl staff members examine particular points which asylum seekers have declared as reasons justifying their petitions.
BAFl Press Announcement 31.8.98

Bavaria: less immigration

For the first time since 1988 more foreigners left Bavaria than entered. A total of 134,000 aliens left Bavaria, among them 17,000 civil-war refugees from Bosnia. The total number of aliens living in Bavaria has dropped 1.7%. Bavaria"s Interior Minister Günther Beckstein regards this as a positive result of his harsh policies on aliens. He sees the number of aliens moving to Bavaria (110,000) as still placing too great a strain on Bavaria"s resources. Regarding certain professional groups, such as scientists, students, artists and businessmen, Bavaria, he said, would continue to keep its doors open.
SZ 22.8.98

More cases of trafficking in women

According to the Bavarian Ministry of the Interior, women from Eastern Europe are still being enticed with false promises to come to Germany where they are forced to engage in prostitution. The number of cases brought to light has doubled from 1993 to 1,091. The actual figures are suspected to be much higher. Some 39% of the women are from former Soviet states, while 18% are from Poland and 12% from former Czechoslovakia.
taz 26.8.98

Statistics: xenophobic offences

The Federal Crime Bureau (BKA) registered a total of 937 xenophobic offences in the first half of 1998, in which 203 persons were injured. In proportion to population density, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern headed the list with 406 attacks against aliens.
FR 26.8.98 // FAZ 26.8.98

Aussiedler statistics

Despite the crisis in Russia, the number of Aussiedler (ethnic German immigrants) coming to Germany as well as the number of petitions for admission are declining. In August 8,961 ethnic Germans came from Russia; in July there were 9,119 and in August 1997 there were 10,671. Since the beginning of the year a total of 64,728 new immigrants have been counted; this is 30,000 fewer than in the same period in 1997.
SZ 2.9.98 // taz 2.9.98

Asylum statistics

According to the Federal Interior Ministry, a total of 8,378 persons applied for asylum in August. This is 158 fewer persons than in August 1997. Most of the asylum seekers continue to come from the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (3,457), Turkey (903) and Irak (495). In August, 420 petitions were approved; 436 persons received protection from deportation; 6,975 petitions were rejected.
dpa 3.9.98

August 1998

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