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efms Migration Report

October 1997

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CDU presses for lower age-limit for foreign children joining parents

Bayern"s Interior Minister Günther Beckstein has urged that foreigners residing in Germany be allowed to bring their children to Germany only if they are no more than 10 years old. At present, the age-limit is 16. Referring to the high percentage of foreigners involved in child and youth criminality, he argued that juveniles who "do not speak a word of German" could not be adequately integrated and often end up on the wrong path. The CSU proposes requiring vocational training and knowledge of German for children over the age of ten seeking to join their parents in Germany.
SZ 2.10.97 // dpa 9.10.97 // SZ 16.10.97

Relief organizations: improve protection of persecuted women

On the occasion of Refugee Day human-rights and refugee organizations spoke out in favor of improving the protection of persecuted women and recognizing the specific persecution of women in asylum law. Wolfgang Grenz of Amnesty International urged that officials conducting asylum proceedings should be more considerate of women traumatized by rape and mutilation. For example, it should be permissible for women who so desire to testify in the presence of women only. Attention should also be paid to women who, as a result of traumatization, only belatedly refer to themselves as the victims of sexual violence. According to Pro Asyl, 19 million women and girls make up 80 percent of all refugees.
dpa 1.10.97 // FR 2.10.97 // taz 2.10.97

European parliament: German aliens law violates EU law

In the opinion of the petition committee of the European parliament, the German aliens law violates European law. The committee has urged the EU commission to bring suit against Germany for violation of contract. German authorities had expelled more than 30 Italian and French citizens convicted of offences in order to preserve public order. In the committee"s view, expulsion of EU citizens is problematic and is permissible only when based on unlawful behaviour.
SZ 4.10.97

Naturalized Turks lose double citizenship

According to Turkish newspapers, the Turkish Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz has assured the German government that naturalized Turks residing in Germany will no longer receive a Turkish passport. Until now Turks wishing to obtain German citizenship had to give up their Turkish citizenship but were able to reacquire it, as Turkish law allows double citizenship. In the future, Turks with German passports are to receive a colored certificate granting them the rights to inherit, reside and work in Turkey. However, they will lose the right to vote and stand in elections.
taz 14.10.97 // SZ 15.10.97 // FR 17.10.97

Günter Grass"s remarks spark controversy over German asylum policies and Turkey

In his speech at the award of the Peace Prize of the German book trade, Günter Grass criticized the German government"s policies on asylum and Turkey. Grass felt that Interior Minister Manfred Kanther"s deportation practices manifested "latent xenophobia" and characterized them as "democratically safeguarded barbarism". Furthermore, he accused the German government of making themselves accomplices of Turkey in its war of extermination against the Kurds by supplying Turks with weapons. The secretary-general of the CDU, Peter Hintze, remarked that Grass"s speech represented a low intellectual niveau and indicated that the writer had taken leave of those literary circles which could be taken seriously. The parliamentary secretary of state in the interior ministry, Eduard Lintner (CSU), accused Grass of committing an "inexcusable faux-pas". Lintner defended the government"s policies, pointing out that they had several times protested against Turkish policies on the Kurds. Oskar Lafontaine, the chairman of the SPD, called for a review of German asylum policies.
FAZ 20.10.97 // dpa 20.10.97 // NZ 21.10.97 // Welt 24.10.97

Spranger: Germany should finance camps for deported aliens

The federal minister for economic cooperation, Carl-Dieter Spranger, suggested in a newspaper interview that Germany should grant financial assistance to developing countries so that shelters can be built for foreigners expelled from Germany. Spranger said it was cheaper to finance such shelters in the third world than to accommodate the foreigners in Germany. At the same time, Spranger recommended imposing sanctions on developing countries who refuse to admit citizens who illegally reside in Germany or have been convicted of offences.
FR 29.10.97

Controversy continues over reform of citizenship law

Manfred Kanther"s announcement at the beginning of the month concerning guaranteed naturalization of foreign children born in Germany sparked heated debate on the reform of citizenship law and the question of "double citizenship". In the course of this discussion the familiar differences of opinions were voiced. The CSU and large sections of the CDU oppose more liberal policies on aliens whereas the FDP, some CDU members, the SPD and the Green Party favor a reform of citizenship law. For the first time Chancellor Helmut Kohl spoke out against "double citizenship" in his speech to the Young Union on their Germany Day. He explained his position, pointing out that introducing double citizenship would lead to an increase in Turks immigrating to Germany which "no society could stand for long." The Bundestag debate on 31 October on the Bundesrat and Green Party proposals for a reform of citizenship law set off a controversy over the obligation to obey the party whip. Advocates of the reform favored a "free" vote on the proposals in order to get the reform underway with the parliamentary majority of FDP, SPD, the Green Party and parts of the CDU. The CDU/CSU parliamentary group, however, insisted on party discipline in voting. Several FDP politicians announced they would make a group propsal to reform citizenship law, but party leadership emphasized that they should not vote against the Union on this issue. The coalition parties defeated the proposals of the Green party and the Bundesrat with a majority. A coalition session which took place in the chancellor"s office on the day of the Bundestag debate did not lead to agreement. The participants in the discussion session adjourned the meeting with the remark that the subject "had not yet been conclusively dealt with".
Welt 6.10.97 // FR 9.10.97 // SZ 9.10.97 // FAZ 10.10.97 // dpa 26.10.97 // Reuters 26.10.97 // SZ 27.10.97 // SZ 28.10.97 // SZ 29.10.97 // FR 29.10.97 // NZ 29.10.97 // FAZ 30.10.97 // SZ 30.10.97 // NZ 31.10.97 // Welt 31.10.97 // FAZ 31.10.97

Increase in right-wing criminality

A report by Interior Minister Manfred Kanther states that in the first six months of this year there were 4,829 offences motivated by right-wing or xenophobic inclinations. Of these, 353 were acts of violence. These numbers indicate an overall increase of 4.6 percent in comparison to the same period of the previous year, whereby acts of violence rose by 14.6 percent. According to Kanther, security officials estimate that there are around 6,400 potentially violent right-wing extremists in Germany, 3,700 of whom live in the new Länder. Among skinheads, as Kanther pointed out, there are tendencies towards organized crime. He emphasized, however, that skinheads were not necessarily rightwing extremists. Their xenophobic and racist ideology often consisted of nothing more than a jumble of banal phrases and prejudices.
SZ 2.10.97 // Welt 2.10.97

Statistics on illegal entries

The headquarters of the Eastern Border Patrol reported that from January to August of this year 5,883 aliens were arrested at the German-Polish border for attempting illegal entry. In 1996 a total of 10,586 persons were likewise apprehended. The Border Patrol Office in Pirna announced that 7,500 aliens have been caught at the border between Sachsen and the Czech Republic this year, an increase by 25 percent over last year. By the end of August 1997 2,667 illegal immigrants had been arrested at the border between Bayern and the Czech Republic, as reported by the Southern Border Patrol headquarters. In 1996 there had been 2,800 attempts at illegal entry over the border in Bayern.
FAZ 10.10.97

Rate of unemployment among aliens is 20%

According to the latest monthly report of the Federal Employment Institute, every fifth alien in Germany is unemployed. The unemployment rate among foreigners is 20.3 percent, or about one percent higher than at the same time last year.
SZ 10.10.97

Criminal Statistics

In 1996, according to data of the Federal Bureau of Statistics, 207,000 foreigners were found guilty of committing criminal offences. The number of convicted foreigners dropped slightly in comparison to 1995. A total of 764,000 persons were convicted in 1996.

Included in the statistics are not only aliens officially residing in Germany, but also tourists or foreigners found to be illegally residing in Germany. The Bureau of Statistics stated that 26,800 (12.9%) of the convicted foreigners had been found guilty of some violation of the Aliens Law or Asylulm Procedure Law.
FAZ 28.10.97

Aussiedler statistics

According to data of the Federal Interior Ministry, 21 percent fewer Aussiedler came to Germany between January and October 1997 than in the same period of the previous year. In October 1997, the number of entries decreased by 33 percent in comparison to October 1996. The Interior Ministry attributed the falling numbers of Aussiedler to the fact that more and more would-be immigrants fail the mandatory language tests.
Welt 4.11.97

Asylum statistics

The Federal Bureau for the Recognition of Foreign Refugees (BAFl) registered 9,760 asylum-seekers in October. This means an increase by 8.3 percent in comparison to the previous month. The Federal Interior Ministry pointed out, however, that the numbers were 16.4 percent lower than those for October 1996. For the period from January to October, the number of applications for asylum dropped by 10 percent in comparison to the same period of the previous year. The ministry noted that the number of applicants from Yugoslavia has risen markedly. Yugoslavia, for the second time in a row, has led the list of countries from which asylum-seekers originate. A ministry spokeswoman was not yet able to say for certain whether or not the increase was due to civil-war refugees from Serbia and Montenegro who are trying to avoid deportations to their countries by applying for asylum in Germany.
SZ 7.11.97

October 1997

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