efms Migration Report
Debate on repatriating Bosnian refugees
The interior ministers at the federal and Länder level have been urging that Bosnian civil war refugees currently residing in Germany be sent home to Bosnia as soon as possible. This pressure has given rise to misgivings in many quarters. After an appeal by the UNHCR, Kanther agrees not to rush the gradual repatriation of the 320,000 refugees and not to begin before the middle of the year. The Rheinland-Pfalz CDU Chairman Gerster proposes offering refugees a "return bonus" amounting to between 4-6 months relief assistance. Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs Kinkel (FDP) in agreement with the SPD, rejects the payment of bonuses to speed up the return of the refugees.
SZ 3.1.96 // SZ 4.1.95 // FAZ 4.1.96 // Focus 8.1.96 // FAZ 12.1.96 // FR 17.1.96
Bayern: surveillance of asylum seekers by private guard agency
The directors of a refugee hostel in Landsberg has assigned a private agency to observe asylum seekers suspected of working without permits. The social ministry regards surveillance of asylum seekers as intolerable, while Bayern "s Commisioner for Data Protection Vetter states that collecting data by this means is legally inadmissable.
SZ 4.1.96 // SZ 5.1.95 // Spiegel 8.1.95
FIS functionary Kebir entitled to asylum
Rabah Kebir, one of the leaders of the Algerian extremist group, the Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) may continue to remain in Germany as a political refugee for the time being. The decision of the administrative court in Aachen finds that Kebir is considered a terrorist and is persecuted in his home country. The federal commissioner for asylum affairs had lodged a complaint against the recognition of Kebir and his family as refugees, charging that Kebir has been accused of participation in violent acts of terror.
Rise in the number of unaccompanied minors entering Germany
The federal interior ministry records a drastic increase in the number of entries of unaccompanied children: in 1995 there were 881 children at the borders, of whom 835 arrived at the airport (in 1994, 198 foreign minors arrived by air). 33.3% of the foreign minors arriving in 1995 were sent back; 149 of them applied for political asylum (69 of these were from Turkey, 41 from Afghanistan, 16 from Togo, 10 from Somalia). In principle, minor refugees are not deported but placed in youth-aid facilities and included in the standard asylum proceedings. The federal interior ministry feels that the large number of refugee children indicates increased activities of immigrant smugglers and therefore rejects unconditional entrance permits for minors, despite criticism that Germany is violating the UN convention on children"s rights.
Research center on minority questions planned
The "European Center for Minority Questions" is to be opened this year in Schleswig Holstein. The institute, which is financed by Germany and Denmark, will deal with minority problems in Europe.
Ten deaths in fire catastrophe at asylum hostel
A fire in accomodation facilites for asylum seekers in Lübeck on January 18, 1996 claims 10 lives and causes approximately 40 injuries. The cause of the fire is established as arson; the perpetrators are initially sought in extreme right circles, until investigations lead to a Lebanese occupant of the hostel who is said to have set the fire due to a personal dispute. A heated public discussion ensues regarding the shortcomings of German asylum policies. One suggestion calls for doing away with mass housing for the asylum seekers.
FR 19.1.96 // SZ 22.1.96
Boom in women-trade in southern Germany
According to information from the bureau of criminality of Bayern, there has been an increase in the number of women being illegally smuggled by gangs of pimps into southern Germany where there is high demand for cheap dancers and prostitutes in nightclubs and brothels. Many of the women-smugglers acquire residence or work permits for Eastern European women by recruiting through artist or model agencies.
Bayern: EU citizens face bureaucratic obstacles to participation in elections
In the opinion of the Councils of Foreigners, Bayern has imposed unfair obstacles to EU citizens wishing to participate in the municipal elections on March 10, 1996, with the result that only 10 to 20% of those entitled to vote had applied to be registered in the voters" lists. Information is inadequate, and many foreigners find the required statutory declaration that Bayern represents their "life center" to be discriminatory and risky. The Council of Foreigners in Schwabach intends to file a civil suit to contest Bavarian municipal voting rights.
SZ 23.1.96 // NN 22.1.96
CSU demands harsher policies on aliens
In the course of general measures of economy, CSU politicians at their summit meeting demand that Germany limit its "generosity" towards Aussiedler, asylum seekers and civil- war refugees. The CSU calls for restricting immigration, accepting fewer Aussiedler, and repatriating Bosnian refugees in April. Furthermore, rejected asylum-seekers should be deported more consistently, and retirement laws for foreigners and work permits for non-EU citizens should be examined.
Statistics in Bayern: naturalized foreigners mainly Turks
According to statistics from the ministry of the interior in Bayern, a total of 255,388 Turkish citizens were registered in Bayern in 1994; of these, 1,600 were naturalized, which is double the number in 1993. The ministry of the interior expects the number of naturalizations of Turks to rise as Turkey has removed some of the legal obstacles blocking release from citizenship such as military service.
The number of asylum-applications in January 1996 amounted to 12,050, which is an increase of 1,650 in comparison to December 1995. Most of the refugees came from Turkey (2,396), rump-Jugoslavia (2,367), Irak (868), Afghanistan (678) and Sri Lanka (541).
BAFl Press Announcement 5.2.96