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efms Migration Report


October 2005

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UN report "Migration in an interconnected world"

On 5 October 2005, a commission comprising 19 international experts for international migration, which was set up two years ago, handed over in New York their report titled "Migration in an interconnected world" to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. According to this report, 89 per cent of Europe"s moderate population growth is achieved thanks to immigrants. Without migration, the population figure would have decreased by four million in the years from 1995 to 2000. Over the past 30 years, the number of migrants worldwide has risen from 75 to 200 million with 9.2 per cent of them being refugees. Migrants contribute 1.67 trillion euros to the economic performance of their host countries. Moreover, immigrants from developing countries send to their home countries 200 trillion euros per year which is three times the amount of the official aid provided by their host countries.
Global Commission on International Migration press release 05.10.05 // FAZ 07.10.05 // NZ 07.10.05

EU: New strategies to fight against illegal migration

Against the background of the refugee disaster at the borders of the Spanish exclaves of Melilla and Ceuta in North Africa, the President of the EU Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, and the Chairman of the African Union, Alpha Oumar Konaré, emphasized their willingness to better and closer cooperate on the occasion of a meeting held on 12 October 2005. In future, EU will provide its development aid in a faster and more target-oriented way; in return, the African Union will help tackle the misappropriation of funds by corrupt and incompetent regimes in Africa. Moreover, EU has announced to support Morocco in training members of their border police and to provide funds in the amount of 40 million euros destined to strengthen the border protection facilities around the Spanish territories. The European Council of the Justice and Interior Ministers also held a meeting on 12 October 2005 to discuss a proposal of the EU Commission on the set up of Regional Protection Programmes. In this proposal, three durable solution approaches for handling migrant and refugee issues are foreseen: The return to their home countries, the local integration in a transit state and the resettlement of migrants and refugees within the EU. Initial pilot projects are being planned for the transit states of Ukraine, Belarus, Moldavia and Tansania.
Handelsblatt 06.10.2005 // Die Welt 07.10.2005 // Die Welt 13.10.2005 // NZZ 13.10.05 // SZ 13.10.05

Internet "Muslim-Markt" suspect of having called for the murder of a specialist on Islamic studies

The public prosecutor"s office in Wiesbaden has instituted investigations against the German-language internet portal run under the URL "Muslim-Markt.de". The investigation is due to the publishing of a presumable call for murder of the Islam-critical expert in Middle Eastern and oriental studies, Hans-Peter Raddatz, in the form of a disguised "prayer proposal". Members of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution have been keeping the URL "Muslim-Markt" and its operator of Shiitic belief, Yavuz Özoguz - who works at the University of Bremen - under observation for a longer time already due to publishing anti-Semitic incitements and Islamistic propaganda. Özoguz rejects the accusations saying that "Muslim-Markt" has never called for committing any act of violence or any violation of laws. However, he quit his job arguing that he did not want the University to suffer any damage. Whether or not the contents published are in fact to be considered a threat of murder, however, remains unsolved and is questioned by the Federal Office of Criminal Investigation (BKA) and by a number of experts.
Die Welt 19.10.05 // NZ 20.10.05 // FAZ 20.10.05 // Der Spiegel 20.10.05

Hearing of Vietnamese refugees turns into political issue

In mid-October, 461 Vietnamese nationals living throughout Germany were brought to a shared accommodation facility in Munich to be questioned by officials of a Vietnamese ministry. The hearing was to clarify the identity of the persons to allow rejected asylum applicants to be returned. One of the refugees reports that - contrary to the promise of the local government of Upper Bavaria - he was questioned without the presence of an interpreter and left alone with a Vietnamese official in a second hearing. He declared that the Vietnamese official had asked him about political and religious organisations and about the whereabouts of his family members in Vietnam. The refugee had entered Germany already 15 years ago and his identity has long been determined by the presentation of his passport within the asylum application procedure. Sigfried Benker, chairman of the Greens in the city counsel of Munich, criticised that the Vietnamese officials had taken advantage of this opportunity to spy out the exile community in Germany without adhering to basic legal principles. Therefore, the local administration department should in future no longer be allowed to participate in the preparation of such joint hearings.
SZ 10.10.05 // Der Spiegel 24.10.05 // SZ 25.10.5

Number of right-wing concerts is increasing

By September 2005, the security services have registered more than 100 skin head concerts already, which predominately took place in the East German federal states of Saxony and Thuringa. Experts of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV) and the police fear that the total number of right-wing-oriented rock concerts in 2005 could clearly exceed the figure of 2004. Compared to 2003, the number of such music events had already risen in 2004 from 18 to 173.
Tagesspiegel 24.10.05 // Focus online 24.10.05

Berlin: More Turkish youths expected to join the police

In cooperation with the police and the city"s administration, the Turkish Association of Berlin-Brandenburg (TBB) wants to offer more migrants the opportunity to join the police bodies. Within the framework of a project, 24 selected youths will already start in 2005 a preparatory vocational training. Even though such training does not require the participants to possess a German passport, this is a compulsory precondition for being admitted as regular member to the police forces. The objective is to increase the portion of Berlin citizens of Turkish origin in the local administration and the police forces. "Our goal is that 10 per cent of the trainees foreseen for 2006 is made up by migrants of Turkish origin", said Berlin"s chief constable, Dieter Glietsch. For 2006 it is planned to offer 200 vocational training opportunities. Glietsch said he wished that similar initiatives would be launched by Russian, Polish, and Arabic associations as well as associations of citizens from the former Yugoslavia. The police would increasingly approach youths with these cultural backgrounds.
NN 15.10.05

Bavaria: Scholarships for young migrants

On 20 October 2005, 50 selected pupils of families with a migrant background were the first to be admitted to the scholarship programme called "Talent im Land Bayern" (Talents in the state of Bavaria), which was set up by the Foundation "Bildungspaket Bayern" (Education package Bavaria) together with the "Robert-Bosch-Foundation". The scholarship holders, who were selected out of 430 applicants, will be paid monthly grants between 100 and 400 euros until they pass their Abitur, i.e. the German general A-level certificate of education. Günter Gerstberger of the Robert-Bosch-Foundation said in this context that Germany had much too long closed its eyes to the potentials of migrants and overlooked the opportunities that immigration offers too. In his commemorative speech, the president of the Bavarian parliament, Alois Glück, emphasized that talent had nothing to do with nationality.
SZ 21.10.05 // Buchloer Zeitung 22.10.05

Federal Administrative Court (BVerwG): Knowledge of writing not a prerequisite for naturalisation

On 20 October 2005, the Federal Administrative Court (BVerwG) decided on the applications on naturalisation filed by two foreign nationals who have been living and working in Germany for 20 and 27 years and whose previous petitions had been refused only for the lack of sufficient language skills. Even though both applicants are able to speak German, one of them can neither read nor write and the other one can read German but not write it. The Federal Administrative Court decided that applicants for naturalisation are not required to be able to express themselves in writing. It would be sufficient if they could read a text written in German about an issue of daily live and could dictate a text while being able to check the correctness of texts written by a third person or by means of a technical device and hence being in the condition of "defending" the content of such written statement as their personal one. While the Court considered these requirements to be fulfilled in the second of the two cases, in the case of the illiterate applicant it did not (Ref.: 5 C 8.05 and 5 C 17.05). Following the decision, the federal states that have so far demanded the knowledge of writing as an indispensable requirement for naturalisation must change their legal practise.
Press release of BVerwG 20.10.05 // FAZ 21.20.05 // Stuttgarter Zeitung 21.10.05

Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf sentences members of terrorist group and criticises the foreigners" law as it is practised

On 26 October 2005, the 6th Criminal Division with the Higher Regional Court (OLG) in Düsseldorf sentenced four members of the Al-Tawhid-Group, which is linked to the Al-Quaida network, to prison terms of five to eight years for membership in a terrorist organisation and for the preparation of terrorist attacks in Düsseldorf and Berlin (Ref.: III-IV 13/03). In the course of the proceeding, the presiding judge, Ottmar Breidling, harshly criticised the practical application of the foreigners" and the naturalisation laws, saying that the Senate had discovered an "incredibly deplorable state of affairs". One of the defendants had been living in Germany as convicted drug trafficker under a false name on the basis of a toleration certificate and had been granted welfare payments. Four testimonies had turned out to be illegal immigrants, who had gained the German nationality on the basis of false passports. "If they had been deported early, Germany not only would have been saved from the threat of suffering terrorist attacks, but also would have saved the expenses for two extremely expensive criminal proceedings besides the welfare payments it incurred", the judge said.
Press release of OLG Düsseldorf 26.10.05 // Handelsblatt 27.10.05 // FR 27.10.05 // SZ 27.10.05 // FAZ 27.10.05

Asylum statistics

In October 2005, a total of 2,247 persons have submitted an application for political asylum in Germany. Compared to September, the number of asylum seekers has thus decreased by 10.4 per cent (-260 persons). Compared to October 2004, respective figures have fallen by 22.5 per cent (-651 persons). The main countries of origin in October were Serbia and Montenegro (371), Iraq (204) and Turkey (192) followed by the Russian Federation (145) and Vietnam (144). In October 2005, the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees has reviewed the applications of 3,667 asylum seekers, 22 (0.6 per cent) of whom have been recognised as entitled to political asylum. A further 123 persons (3.4 per cent) have been granted protection against deportation according to §60, paragraph 1, Residence Act. The applications of 2,376 people (64.8 per cent) have been rejected. The cases of another 1,146 persons (31.2 per cent) have been closed for other reasons, for example because asylum seekers have withdrawn their applications.
Press release BMI 09.11.05


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