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efms Migration Report

February 2000

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Beck presents "Report on the Situation of Foreigners in Germany"

The Federal Commissioner for Foreigners Marieluise Beck (Alliance 90/The Greens) presents the new "Report on the Situation of Foreigners in Germany". The report is based on recent data published by the Statistisches Bundesamt (Federal Statistical Office), the Ausländerzentralregister (Central Foreigners Register) , the Bundesanstalt für Arbeit (Federal Office of Employment) as well as on results of the latest research. The report deals with various aspects of migration in Germany. According to the report, 7.32 million foreigners were living in Germany in November/ December 1999. The largest group of immigrants is represented by the Turks (2.11 million). The unemployment rate among immigrants remains at almost 20%, demonstrating that foreigners continue to be subject to unemployment twice as often as Germans. For the first time, the report contains a whole chapter dealing with the difficult social situation of illegal immigrants in Germany and of asylum seekers living in Germany. Asylum seekers in Germany receive only 80% of the current welfare aid as provided in the Foreigners Law.
FR 10.2.00 // NZ 10.2.00 // Bericht über die Lage der Ausländer in der BRD

Situation of under-aged refugees examined

In view of the asylum law"s harmonization within the European Union in the next two years, all member countries currently are examining whether the rights of under-aged refugees are followed according to the UN-Children"s Rights Convention. The German study reveals the following problems: the under-aged refugees are partly accommodated with adult strangers rather than with other minors. Not seldomly asylum procedures are carried through without summoning a guardian. Thus, under-aged refugees often are both "intellectually and emotionally incapable" of dealing with the examination in the asylum procedure. Alliance 90/ The Greens, the Human Rights Committee of the Bundestag, the National Coalition for the Implementation of the UN-Children"s Rights Convention and Pro Asyl appeal to the Ministry of Interior Affairs to withdraw it"s reservations against the UN-Children"s Rights Convention. In addition, they demand the Convention"s implementation. The Ministry of the Interior sees no need for action.
SZ 1.2.00 // FR 21.2.00 // FR 25.2.00 // SZ 29.2.00

Country report on Chechnya

The Foreign Office draws up the new country report on Russia/ Chechnya which replaces the 1998 report. The new country report will be basis for descisions in future asylum procedures as soon as the descision ban on asylum procedures is removed. The ban was imposed in January by the Minister of the Interior Otto Schily (SPD). According to the report, especially the situation of Chechen refugees in Ingutschetschien appears dramatic. In addition, it is suspected that camps exist where Russian troops massively violate the Human Rights of the Chechen civilian population. Pro Asyl welcomes the completion of the report.
taz 22.2.00 // FR 23.2.00

Germany and France aim at harmonized asylum policies

The Ministers of the Interior of Germany and France, Otto Schily (SPD) and Jean-Pierre Chevènement aim at a common deportation procedure for rejected asylum seekers within the EU. France will present a draft on the topic during it"s presidency of the EU-Council. Furthermore, Germany and France define common objectives in their migration policies. By refining their foreign- and economic policy, they plan to reduce the pressure created by migration from certain countries. In addition, illegal migration shall be prevented by increasing cooperation between Germany and France. Finally, the integration of migrants shall be improved.
FAZ 2.2.00 // FR 2.2.00 // Welt 2.2.00

Interpretation of backlog regulation varies

The Bundesländer continue their individual interpretions of the backlog regulation for rejected asylum seekers. The SPD and Alliance 90/ The Greens reproach Bayern for issuing "special instructions". Thus, only 300 persons instead of 700 would profit from the backlog regulation. If, for example, an asylum seekers has committed a criminal offense, Bayern will not apply the backlog regulation to any family member. Asylum seekers fined more than 50 daily rates or those who have received social benefits for more than six months are excluded as well. The High Administrative Court in Bremen rules that the backlog regulation includes foreigners who possess a confirmation for employment dated the 19th of November, the day the new regulation was passed. The backlog regulation shall also be applied to persons who, due to a large number of children, draw supplementary social benefits aside their income.
NN 4.2.00 // NN 10.2.00 // FR 14.2.00

Bremen: abuse of asylum

The criminal investigation department uncovers a massive abuse of asylum. 500 persons illegally live in Bremen and collect social benefits. The damage amounts to more than 10 million DM. Subject to investigation are various Turkish families who came to Germany in the late 1980s and passed themselves off as Lebanese possessing no passports. Although the asylum seekers were mostly rejected, they could not be deported because the Lebanon does not take in families who do not possess lebanese nationality. In the meantime 200 cases have been completed and 24 persons deported.
dpa 28.2.00 // SZ 28.2.00 // FR 29.2.00

Rathenow; asylum seekers draw up memorandum

47 asylum seekers in Rathenow/ Brandenburg draw up a memorandum. They no longer feel safe in Brandenburg and thus wish to be transferred to a different Bundesland. The memorandum which was addressed to the mayor, the Landrat, the police, newspapers, and the UNHCR refers to three attacks on asylum seekers which have occurred since the beginning of 2000. The asylum seekers accuse the authorities of insufficiently ensuring their safety. Almuth Berger, the Commissioner for Foreigners in Brandenburg explains the impossibility of transferring the asylum seekers to a different Bundesland: firstly, Brandenburg has to meet it"s quota: it is obliged to take in 3,5% of all asylum seekers in Germany. Secondly, Brandenburg could not be aiming at fulfilling the demands of neo-Nazis by "creating areas void of foreigners".
FR 5.2.00 // NN 9.2.00 // SZ 12.2.00 // Zeitmagazin Leben 24.2.00

Petition Committee of the Bundestag visits the Federal Office for the Recognition of Foreign Refugees

The Petition Committee of the Bundestag visits the Federal Office for the Recognition of Foreign Refugees (BAFl). During the visit the parliamentarian state secretary in the Ministry of the Interior, Cornelie Sonntag-Wolgast (SPD) announces that specifically female grounds for fleeing, such as rape and mutilation, in the future shall be increasingly considered in asylum procedures. To this end, 46 specialized female descision-makers have already been employed. The chairwoman of the committee Heidemarie Lüth (PDS) and the representatives Bernd Reuter (SPD) and Helmut Wilhelm (Alliance 90/The Greens) criricize that only asylum procedures which have been decided positively are presented to the Federal Commissioner for Asylum Matters, who then may or may not object. The vice-president of the BAFl Wolfgang Weickhardt points out that the Federal Commissioner"s intervention serves to harmonize the descision-making-process. If a negative descision had been reached beforehand, an intervention would be useless since a negative descision usually is followed by an institution of proceedings anyhow.
dpa 21.2.00 // SZ 22.2.00 // NN 22.2.00

Turks holding a work permit not automatically deported if committing a criminal offense

The European Court rules, that Turks living in Germany or another EU-country and holding a permanent work permit are not automatically deported if they commit a criminal offense. A deportation is only possible if the "personal conduct" of the culprit could endanger public safety anew. A deportation on account of a criminal offense or in order to deter other foreigners is not permitted.
FR 11.02.00

Aussiedler statistics

5,045 Spätaussiedler (ethnic German immigrants) were registered in Germany in February 2000. In the same month of the previous year, 5,563 persons were registered. The Federal Commissioner for Aussiedler, Jochen Welt again stresses the importance of the language exam, the Aussiedlers" prerequisite for the admission to Germany. In the future, if a person possesses an admission notification without having passed the language exam, embassies should only issue an exit visa if the applicant picks it up personally. Should there be indication for a lack of proficiency in German, the language exam has to be made up. If necessary, the admission notification will be reversed as long as the applicant still lives in the country of origin.
BMI Press Announcement 3.3.00

Asylum statistics

6,117 persons applied for political asylum in February 2000. This is a decrease of 7.6% (501 persons) in comparison to the previous month. Compared to February 1999, the number of asylum seekers has decreased by 16.6% (1,216 persons). The rate of approval in completed cases was 2.8% (371 persons). 804 persons (6.2%) were granted protection against deportation following the Geneva Convention for Refugees. The Federal Administrative Court notes that the average amount of time used for appeal hearings which are completed by a descision has continuously decreased since 1992: 25 months and 12 days in 1992, 10 months and 11 days in 1999.
Bundesverwaltungsgericht Press Announcement 16.2.00 // BMI Press Announcement 6.3.00

February 2000

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