efms Migration Report
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Debate on immigration law: consensus eroding; timetable delayed because of terrorist attacks
The draft for a new immigration law, presented by Federal Interior Minister Schily, has increasingly come under fire from different sides. Representatives of churches and refugee organisations as well as experts have criticised the proposals as, among other things, diminishing the protection provided for refugees. Consensus among political parties has also been eroding, with both the Green coalition partner and the opposition CDU/CSU insisting on revisions and
Mr. Schily's draft as unacceptable. Even within Mr. Schily's SPD, several prominent party member have expressed reservations, among them Federal Justice Minister Herta Däubler-Gmelin, Fritz Behrens, State Interior Minister for North-Rhine Westphalia, and several members of the SPD's parliamentary party. Meanwhile, the timetable for the legislative process has been delayed, due to the terrorist attacks on the USA on September 11. Whereas members of the ruling government coalition have been emphasising the urgency of a law channelling migration inflows and improving integration of migrants, the opposition has been sending
out contradictory signals: Friedrich Merz, leader of the CDU/CSU parliamentary party, and Peter Müller, Saarland state premier, have called for a resolution of the matter in the near future. Representatives of Bavaria's CSU, however, have expressed fundamental doubts about the law in general, and have also started campaigning against further immigration from Muslim countries.
FR 1.9.01 // Spiegel 3.9.01 // taz 4.9.01 // FAZ 6.9.01 // FR 7.9.01 // Spiegel 10.9.01 taz 18.9.01 // FR 12.9.01 // SZ 15.9.01 FR 18.9.01 // FR 20.9.01 // Welt 27.9.01 // FAZ 28.9.01
Immigration debate focuses on "national security"
In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of September 11, "national security" matters are increasingly dominating Germany's immigration debate. Federal Interior Minister Schily has been calling on European partners to tighten regulations for entry into the EU. The Federal Cabinet has passed an "anti-terrorist package": the package includes additional funding for national security and the German army; a new anti-terrorism article in Germany's Criminal Code penalising membership and support of non-German
terrorist organisations; the abolition of religious privileges for organisations, allowing authorities to ban religious organisations whose activities are directed against the principles of Germany's Constitution. As some of the persons involved in the terrorist attacks on the USA have lived in Germany for several years, criminal investigations targeting "Islamic circles" have been stepped up. Günter Beckstein (CSU), Bavaria's Interior Minister, has demanded that all immigrants and applicants for naturalisation be screened by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution. Also under discussion are ways to pool data gathered by different authorities,
e.g. the Central Register for Foreigners and the Federal Office for the Recognition of Foreign Refugees (BAFl).
SZ 15.9.01 // dpa 19.9.01 // FAZ 21.9.01 // NZ 21.9.01 // SZ 22.9.01 // Spiegel 24.9.01 // dpa 27.9.01
Federal Government Commissioner for Foreigners and Integration supports admission of Afghan refugees
Marieluise Beck (The Greens), the Federal Government Commissioner for Foreigners and Integration, and refugee organisation Pro Asyl have called for humanitarian aid for the large number of Afghan civilians seeking refuge in neighbouring countries. In view of rising numbers of refugees, the EU should allow entries of Afghan refugees, applying the recently passed EU guideline on temporary protection for refugees.
// Press Statement by Federal Government Commissioner for Foreigners and Integration 25.9.01 // taz 25.9.01
In September 2001, 8,000 applications for political asylum were submitted, a decrease of 12.5% over the previous month (1,138 applications); compared to September 2000, numbers have increased by 11.6% (834 applications). Iraq, Turkey and Afghanistan were the main source countries of applicants. Whereas the number of asylum applicants from Afghanistan ranged between 350 and 450 in the first seven months of 2001, it has sharply increased to 842 persons in September. Macedonia, with 177 applicants, has for the first time been among
the ten main source countries in September. Of the 12,061 applications reviewed in September, 751 persons (6.2%) were recognised as entitled to political asylum, among them 546 Afghan nationals whose cases had been temporarily adjourned and have now been readmitted. 2,415 persons (20%) have been granted protection against deportation under §51 Par.1 Foreigners Act, among them 1,080 Afghans. 53.5% of all applications have been rejected.
Press Statement BAFl 3.10.01
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