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efms Migration Report

March 1996

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Criticism of BAFl president because of asylum procedures

The new president of the BAFl (Federal Office for the Recognition of Foreign Refugees) Dusch has been accused of putting pressure on his employees to speed up asylum procedures without regard to their quality. In a discussion of the matter in the Bundestag, the interior minister defended the work of the agency.
FR 4.3.96 // SZ 7.3.96

Protection demanded for Bosnian refugees

Numerous organizations, among them welfare agencies, labor unions, religious groups and refugee organisations, have appealed to the German interior minister to suspend the repatriation of Bosnian refugees planned for July. The UNHCR has also criticized the plans for hasty repatriation of the refugees.
FR 7.3.96 // Welt 8.3.96

Discussion of an overall concept for immigration policies

The dispute triggered off by the SPD in February about limiting Aussiedler immigration (immigrants of German extraction) is developing into a general political discussion of a prospective overall concept on regulating immigration. Calling for "rational management of immigration" SPD party leader Lafontaine addresses the fundamental issues of policies towards foreigners. In order to prevent preferential treatment of Aussiedler over foreigners who have lived in Germany for several generations, the citizenship law should be reformed. The SPD proposes to enact an immigration law to help regulate the immigration of all foreigners, including Aussiedler. The SPD feels that the following factors should also be considered: the economic situation, the willingness of the population to accept the immigrants, and the prospects for integration. The party emphasizes the need for improving the assistance provided to immigrants regarding their integration.
SZ 7.3.96 // SZ 13.3.96

Bavaria: immigrant smuggling on the rise

According to data from the interior ministry, immigrant smuggling has increased on the borders to Austria and the Czech Republic. In 1995,985 persons were caught, which was 30% more than in the previous year (764 cases). Bavarias Interior Minister Beckstein condemns the organized smuggling of immigrants as a "modern form of slavery", noting the so-called Schlepper (smugglers) were organized on an international scale with bases in large eastern-European cities (Prague, Moscow, Budapest, Bucharest, et al.) and as main centers Istanbul and Hong Kong.
SZ 16.3.96

Facilitated naturalization for Iranians

A German-Iranian agreement which was modified in 1995 will be put into action by a federal government bill according to which the naturalization of Iranian citizens will no longer be dependent on the consent of both countries. The new regulation will come into effect as soon as it is accepted by both the Bundestag and the Iranian Islamic Assembly.
FR 9.3.96

Integration of Russian Jews

A study conducted by the Moses-Mendelssohn Center (Potsdam University) has evaluated the integration of the some 40,000 Russian Jews who immigrated to Germany. Unemployment and anti-Semitism appear to be the most serious problems faced by the immigrants.
dpa 8.3.96

UN Human-Rights Commission recommends anti-racism law for Germany

The UN reporter on hostility towards foreigners, Glele-Ahanhanzo, emphasized in a report to the UN Human-Rights commission that Germany should pass an anti-racism law against anti-Semitism and hostility towards foreigners as well as improve the living conditions of asylum seekers. Glele-Ahanhanzo sees foreigners as being tolerated in Germany, but not accepted. Xenophobia is directed towards foreigners with other religions or a different skin color. Although violence against foreigners which had increased between the years 1991-93 is now declining, extreme right-wing propaganda continues to be disseminated. The author of the report finds it urgent that the state take measures to protect immigrants and refugees.
dpa 12.3.96 // FR 18.3.96

Positive assessment of Schengen Treaty

The federal government regards the Schengen Treaty which came into force a year ago (March 26, 1995) as, on the whole, a success. Fears that the elimination of inland borders could lead to problems with inner security were unfounded. To counteract the increased likelihood of illegal entry, Germany intensified surveillance at the external eastern borders. The federal interior ministry considers the Schengen Information System (SIS) unsatisfactory, due to the widely divergent manner in which it is employed by the EU member states.
FAZ 14.3.96

CDU creates party organization for Turks

In view of the fact that Turkish immigrants represent a significant voter potential as a result of increased naturalizations, the CDU has been seeking contact to the Turkish minority living in Germany. Several Turkish and German CDU members and politicians have founded the "German-Turkish Union" (DTU) in Berlin with the aim of acquiring the status of a CDU sub-organization. The charter portrays the Turks as a successfully integrated minority which regards Germany as its home country, and consequently desires to be involved in shaping German policies beyond specific "foreigner" issues. DTU members must either be in possession of or have applied for German citizenship. The Bonn CDU has expressed scepticism concerning the planned official party status of the DTU.
taz 23.3.96 // FAZ 22.3.96 // FAZ 28.3.96 // Welt 30.3.96

Amendment facilitates quick deportation of foreigners guilty of committing offences

After fierce debate the federal government responded to a series of violent excesses of Kurdish extremists with a tightening of criminal law pertaining to foreigners. The modification provides for immediate deportation in cases where foreigners have been sentenced to a 3-year imprisonment (previously 5-year) for a serious breach of the peace. It is hoped the measures will inhibit operations of the extremist Kurdish Workers Party (PKK) which has been banned in Germany since 1993.
FR 28.3.96 // NZZ 28.3.96

PKK leader Öcalan threatens with terror actions in Germany

The PKK issued a warning that there will be attacks by suicide commandos in Germany and attacks on German tourists in Turkey because of Germany"s hostile policies on Kurds. The German security authorities are taking the threats of the PKK commander, Öcalan, seriously.
FAZ 30.3.96 // FAZ 1.4.96

More rights for foreigners with longtime residence

In the course of achieving modifications of the law to expedite deportations of aliens offenders, the coalition has agreed to new provisions which create more rights for foreigners residing in Germany. In certain hardship cases (such as abuse), the wives of resident foreigners will receive an independent entitlement to residence and welfare benefits after one year. It will be easier for adult children of foreigners to acquire unlimited residence permits. The residence entitlement of retired persons who return temporarily to their homelands will remain valid instead of being cancelled as was previously the case.
Tagesdienst der FDP-Bundestagsfraktion 29.4.96 // SZ 30.3.96

Interior Ministers agree on regulation of unresolved asylum cases

The interior ministers have come to an agreement on the regulation of hardship cases among rejected asylum seekers who have lived in Germany for many years. Families who came to Germany before July 1, 1990 can obtain residence entitlement from the alien authorities. The cutoff date for single persons is January 1, 1987. Certain preconditions must be met which are described as "marks of integration": a home, the ability to earn a living, the absence of a criminal record and school attendance by the children. Some 10,000 to 20,000 of the 350,000 foreigners who are living in Germany without residence entitlement come under this "clemency regulation". At the same time the federal interior minister calls for a consistent repatriation of rejected asylum seekers and foreigners who entered the country illegally.
FAZ 30.3.96 // SZ 30.3.96

Asylum statistics

The number of petitions in March 1996 sank 1.8% in comparison to the previous month. In comparison with March of the previous year, the reduction is 17%. The declining numbers are attributed by the federal interior ministry to the decrease in refugees from Turkey and Serbia-Montenegro. Turkey still heads the list with 1,946 refugees followed by rump-Yugoslavia with 1,542 and Irak with 748 petitions. 8% or the petitions which could be processed in March were accepted.
FAZ 6.4.96 // SZ 6.4.96

March 1996

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