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efms Migration Report

November 1995

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Parts of asylum law liberalized

The coalition parties in Bonn have negotiated an agreement to modify several aspects of the Foreigners Act, such as the residence status of foreign spouses which would be guaranteed in hardship cases after a one-year residence, and the facilitation of return to Germany for former guest workers.Young trainees are to receive residence permits more easily. Continuing differences of opinions within the CDU/CSU and the FDP, have held up the reform of the naturalization process and citizenship law.
FR 9.11.95 // Welt 9.11.95

SPD proposal on citizenship law

The SPD Bundestag group and the Länder ruled by the SPD have made a proposal to change the citizenship law to grant citizenship after 8 instead of 15 years in order to facilitate integration. Dual citizenship would be allowed only in exceptional cases. The plan has met with the approval of both the Federal Government Commissioner for Foreigners, Schmalz-Jacobsen, as well as a small group of CDU members of the federal parliament.
dpa 1.11.95

Criticism: Germany contravenes UN agreement on child protection

The nationwide union of children"s rights associations and welfare organisations, the "National Coalition" (NC) has presented the UN commission in Geneva with a list of Germany"s shortcomings. The NC consider the following to be violations of the UN agreement: 1) the treatment and accommodation of unaccompanied minor refugees as well as their insecurity regarding deportation; 2) the unequal treatment of children of migrants and German children, which includes 3) the refusal to grant dual citizenship to the second and third generations of immigrants.
FR 6.11.95

Germany and Switzerland to exchange the personal data of applicants for asylum

The federal ministry of the interior and the Swiss ministry of justice have agreed that the fingerprints and personal data of 3,000 applicants for asylum who are registered in Germany will be passed on to the Swiss Federal Office for Refugees (BFF). The exchange of data is intended to serve statistical purposes and to provide knowledge about the misuse of asylum. Advocates of data protection consider the exchange to be illegal.
taz 3.11.95

Asylum for Kurds because of group persecution in Turkey

The Berlin court of administration has granted a Turkish Kurd the right to political asylum, justifying its decision with the persecution of Kurds in the southeastern areas of Turkey and the fact that Kurds living in other regions are not secure because of suspicions that they might be cooperating with the PKK.
FR 4.11.95

No release from detention after applying for asylum

On motion by Bayern, the Bundesrat has passed a bill by which an alien who is in deportation imprisonment will no longer be automatically released once he has submitted a petition for asylum. The length of imprisonment, however, may not exceed 4 weeks.
FR 4.11.95

Courts of administration disagree on the safe-country article of the asylum law

The federal administrative courts have given a narrow interpretation to the safe country regulation: refugees who travel over a land route to Germany are categorically excluded from the right to asylum, even if the travel route has not been clarified. All neighboring states of Germany are considered safe countries. The administrative court of Hessen in Kassel, on the other hand, has determined that the safe-country regulation should only be applied in cases where the neighboring country from which the refugee entered Germany is known.
FAZ 8.11.95 // SZ 8.11.95 // SZ 15.11.95

Discrimination of foreigners by car-insurance companies is prohibited

The Insurance Control Board has categorically forbidden any rates or bonuses determined by car insurance companies on the basis of citizenship or membership in an ethnic minority. In this way the board hopes to put an end to the practices of German insurance companies to reject foreigners as customers or demand higher payments from them.
FAZ 10.11.95

Kanther against revision of the asylum law and against children"s citizenship

Just prior to federal constitutional court hearings in which the new law of asylum will be determined, Federal Minister of the Interior, Kanther has warned the judges about undermining the law by declaring parts of the compromise on asylum to be unconstitutional. In Kanther"s opinion, the abuse of asylum has remained an urgent problem despite sinking refugee numbers. Furthermore, the minister of the interior spoke out against children"s citizenship as decided by the coalition because it would entail extensive revision of citizenship law.
FR 11.11.95 // FAZ 11.11.95

Federal Constitutional Court hearings on the asylum law

On November 11, 1995 hearings begin in Karlsruhe during which the consitutionality of the asylum law, which was modified in 1993, will be examined. Five applicants for asylum have filed appeals to the constitutional court. The main issues are the articles concerning safe third countries and airport proceedings both of which are important elements of the asylum compromise made in 1993. Shortly before the opening of court proceedings, three judges made a surprize visit to the Frankfurt airport to inform themselves of the situation of the refugees who occupy accommodations there. Preliminary results of the proceedings: various experts conclude that the safe third country regulation is contrary to international law. The lengthy proceedings are adjourned first to Novemeber 23 and then again to December 12, 1995. A decision is not expected before February 1996.
FR 20.11.95 // FAZ 22.11.95 // SZ 22.11.95 // FR 23.11.95 // FAZ 24.11.95

Police nab immigrant-smuggler gang

In a nationwide search of homes and asylum hostels conducted on November 11, 1995, a special Nürnberg police squad arrests 100 persons suspected of immigrant trafficking or illegal entry. Police hope that this action will yield essential information about practices employed in smuggling. Among the arrested Asians are 6 alleged wire-pullers of organized immigrant smuggling.
FAZ 15.11.95 // NN 15.11.95 // NZ 16.11.95

Funds for Russian-Germans in Russia

In the coming year Germany intends to pay 90 million marks for Russians of German descent. The financial aid is to be used to build housing and to create jobs and cultural institutions. According to the Federal Commissioner for Aussiedler (immigrants of German extraction) Waffenschmidt (CDU), the objective of the aid is to provide an alternative to leaving Russia for these citizens of German descent.
FR 17.11.95

Cooperation with Switzerland in the battle against organized smuggling

Because of the operations of internationally active immigrant smugglers and drug traffickers, the Federal Minister of the Interior, Kanther (CDU), feels it will be necessary to continue to deploy the federal border police (BGS) even in a "Europe without borders". The reinforcements are closely coordinated with France, and Kanther considers Swiss association with the Schengen Group to be desirable. On November 27, 1995 Switzerland and Germany arrange a "cooperative security system" at their common border.
Welt 21.11.95 // SZ 28.11.95 // FAZ 28.11.95

Investigation of illegally employed foreign workers

During an inspection of Danube freight ships the Bavarian border police discovers a large number of illegally employed sailors from the Czech Republic. An illegal placement agency in Prague charters the workers to German shipping companies at a flat rate, often in whole groups. The workers must work without social security and receive one-fourth of the wages of a German sailor.
SZ 25.11.95

Bonn: After the peace treaty Bosnians refugees allowed to remain temporarily

The 320,000 Bosnian refugees have been assured that they will not be deported to their home country for the time being. The federal ministry of the interior wants to wait and see how the situation in Bosnia develops after the signing of the peace treaty in Dayton. The ban on deportation of Bosnian war refugees is in force until March 31, 1996.
SZ 23.11.95 // NN 23.11.95

Statistics: fewer antisemitic criminal acts

According to the federal bureau of criminal investigation the number of antisemitic criminal acts (such as arson, assault, damage to property) has sunk. In this year 752 offences had been registered by the end of September. The number of offences decreased from the first quarter of the year (285) to the third quarter (173).
Welt 22.11.95

Statistics: more naturalizations

The number of naturalizations rose in the past year by 30%. In 1994 there were 250,200 persons applying for German citizenship. Immigrants of German extraction account for most of the naturalizations, followed by 19,000 Turkish immigrants, who increased in number by 58% in comparison to the previous year. EU numbers for comparison: between 1990 and 1993 just under one million persons were naturalized in one of the EU countries. Most naturalizations were carried out by France (233,000) followed by Great Britain (218,000) the Benelux states (204,000), Germany (129,000) and Sweden (116,000). Turkish immigrants are turning away from Germany; 48% of EU citizens of Turkish extraction chose the Netherlands and 28% Germany.
SZ 8.11.95 // FAZ 2.12.95 // SZ 2.12.95

Asylum statistics

For the first time in 2 years the number of asylum-seekers in November 1995 amounted to more than 13,000, namely 13,153 refugees. This is an increase of at least 1,000 cases in comparison with the previous month. The largest groups continue to come from Serbia and Montenegro (3,330), Turkey (2,400) The acceptance rate was 8%.
SZ 7.12.95

November 1995

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