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efms Migration Report

February 1996

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Bosnian refugees resort to Denmark

Since the resolution by the German interior ministers to repatriate Bosnian refugees there has been an increase in entries to Denmark by Bosnians who have been residing in Germany. Apparently they hope to evade deportation to their home country. Denmark has responded with stricter controls at the German-Danish border.
Welt 31.1.96 // SZ 1.2.96

Criticism of repatriations to Bosnia

Churches, refugee-aid and welfare organizations have articulated vehement criticism of the decision of the interior ministers to carry out wholesale deportations. They maintain that Bosnian civil-war refugees should not be returned to a critical area hastily and without a case-by-case examination. Traumatized war victims or those in medical treatment cannot be expected to contribute to the reconstruction of their homeland, as called for by politicians. Bosnians have demonstrated against being sent back to a devastated and still dangerous area.
SZ 7.2.96 // FR 7.2.96 // dpa 2.3.96

German Catholics demand more lenient policies towards aliens

The central committee of the German Catholics (ZDK) calls on the Federal Government to improve the legal status of foreigners living in Germany, and to forgo regulations to limit immigration. The Catholics criticize the refusal of the government to call Germany a country of immigration. As a steady flow of immigration to Germany is to be expected, problems of migration and integration should be reconsidered. The committee advocates establishing a federal office of migration and shaping a comprehensive immigration plan.
SZ 1.2.96

Restriction of freedom of movement for Aussiedler

The Bundestag has approved a bill stipulating that late Aussiedler (immigrants of German extraction) will have to accept the place of residence assigned to them if they wish to receive integration aid and social benefits. The objective of the new regulation is to distribute Aussiedler more evenly throughout the federal republic. Aussiedler have generally preferred residence in the old Länder. In future, only those who have found an apartment and work or training place will be able to choose their place of residence.
SZ 1.2.96 // SZ 3.2.96

Agreement in Bonn on law against cheap foreign labor

The mediation committee of the Bundestag and Bundesrat has agreed to a law which is an "effective instrument against unfair and cheap foreign competition" in order to protect the German construction industry and its workers. The agreement provides that even workers hired abroad by foreign firms will be paid minimum German wages, and that stricter controls and punishment of violations will be enforced. The regulations must be worked out in collective bargaining.
SZ 3.2.96 // Das Parlament 9.2.96

.Foreign students in German universities

There are 140,000 foreign students (7.4% of the total student population) presently studying at German universities. The president of the Conference of University Rectors attributes the fact that Germany is becoming less attractive to foreign students to German laws on aliens. According to his opinion, German universities rarely recognize qualifications and diplomas from the native countries of the students. The DAAD (German Academic Exchange Organisation) complains that scholarship holders are subjected to lengthy bureaucratic procedures in order to obtain residence permits.
SZ 3.2.96

Police hostility towards foreigners

A study on German police hostility towards foreigners was made public at the Conference of the Ministers of the Interior on 05.02.1996. According to the findings of the study, the main causes of police violence against foreigners are heavy workloads, stress and negative experiences with foreigners suspected of crimes. The authors of the study conclude that incidents involving police hostility towards foreigners are neither isolated cases nor do they indicate a systematic pattern of behavior.
SZ 5.2.96 // FAZ 6.2.96

FDP overall concept for immigration

A study group of the FDP led by the Commissioner for Foreigners, Schmalz-Jacobsen (FDP) proposes a comprehensive immigration concept with the following main points: immigration according to a quota system; final residence rights after a 5-year period of "probation"; the right to naturalization after 10 years; keeping the asylum law, but counting recognized asylum-seekers in the quotas. The party convention in June will discuss the proposal.
SZ 10.2.96 // FAZ 10.2.96

Reduction of social benefits for refugees

Despite strong protests from the opposition, the Bundestag has decided on further measures in the law on benefits for asylum seekers. In the future, there will be a longer period in which refugees receive benefits solely in the form of goods, and only in emergency cases will medical assistance be paid. The law is not yet in force.
FR 12.2.96

Problems in carrying out the repatriation agreement with Vietnam

The repatriation of Vietnamese continues at a halting pace due to the bureaucratic procedures employed by Vietnam. Data protectionists criticize the collaboration of the German alien authorities with the Vietnamese government. The latter force the concerned persons to fill out a questionnaire with personal data, threatening to withdraw their work-permits or not to further tolerate them. A questionnaire meant to be voluntary, by which Vietnam receives information about those returning, is part of the German-Vietnamese agreement.
SZ 15.2.96 // taz 15.2.96

Debate on limiting immigrants of German extraction

In view of the high numbers of unemployed and the jeopardization of the European monetary union, SPD representatives advocate a limitation on Aussiedler from Eastern Europe. This demand has spawned a vehement controversy; representatives of the CSU support categorical acceptance of immigrants of German extraction and view the SPD demand as a "dangerous game with prejudices". The Green Party and religious institutions deplore the populistic exploitation of the Aussiedler as an election campaign issue.
SZ 26.2.96 // dpa 27.2.96 // FAZ 28.2.96 // FAZ 6.3.96

Senegal not a safe country of origin

Asylum seekers from Senegal will from now on be entitled to asylum proceedings. A negative report by the foreign office on the human rights situation in Senegal prompted the federal cabinet to delete Senegal from the list of "safe countries of origin".
FR 29.2.96

Green party seeks revision of asylum law

The Green Alliance Party has submitted a proposal to the Bundestag. This proposal, which the party would like to see carried out before the decision of the Federal Constitutional Court, calls for the reform of essential parts of the asylum law which had been tightened up in 1993. The list of safe countries of origin, the "airport regulation" and the handling of "old cases" should be revised.
SZ 28.2.96 // taz 28.2.96

80% of arson attacks against foreigners unsolved

In response to a parliamentary inquiry by the PDS the federal government indicated that in 80% of the arson attacks carried out in 1993 and 1994 against foreigners there is no trace of the perpetrators. 231 of the 284 attacks registered by the police in 1993 had not been solved; Of the 80 attacks reported in 1994, 59 remained unsolved. 33 cases of arson were registered in 1995. Most attacks are carried out against residences of foreigners or asylum seekers.
dpa 29.2.96

Nearly 30,000 illegal entries prevented

The Federal Border Control (BGS) was able to catch 29,600 persons attempting to enter Germany illegally. The majority (24,000) of these arrests took place at the eastern borders of Germany. In 1995 the BGS apprehended 2053 illegal immigrant smugglers. Minister of the Interior Kanther has announced an increase in BGS personnel and improved collaboration between the BGS, customs officers and the police in combatting immigrant smuggling organisations. The minister considers it imperative that cooperation between Germany and its neighbors, Poland and the Czech Republic also be intensified.
dpa 15.2.96 // FR 16.2.96

Statistics: more Islamic extremists

According to a report of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, the number of extremist Muslims in Germany in 1995 has risen distinctly. The 31,700 foreigners classified as Islamic extremists signify a 20% increase over the previous year.
SZ 5.2.96

Asylum statistics

The number of asylum seekers in February 1996 (9,292) has fallen in comparison to January 1996 (12,050). With 1,904 petitions, Turkish citizens form the largest refugee group, followed by refugees from former Yugoslavia (1,701), Irak (713), Sri Lanka (412), Afghanistan (407) and Iran (351). Only 196 refugees came from Bosnia-Herzegovina. 7.5% of the petitioners for asylum in February were recognized.
SZ 6.3.96 // FAZ 6.3.96

February 1996

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