The German Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) seems reluctant to send refugees back to their home countries, even when the conditions that made them refugees have been alleviated.
Permanent status is only supposed to occur if danger still exists 3 years after their arrival. However, out of 107,000 potential cases, only 206 individuals have been sent back.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Party (CDU) reached an agreement with its sister the Christian Social Union (CSU) to cap annual immigration at 200,000.
The cap, which applies only to refugees, is a response to populist backlash against the country’s open door immigration policies that allowed over 1 million refugees to flood into the country in 2015.
The new policy paves the way for coalition talks that will determine the future of Germany’s government. So far, Merkel is hoping to work with the Free Democrats and the Greens.
Politicians considered the agreement crucial in advance of next week’s elections for the state parliament in Lower Saxony, which Merkel’s party lost by one seat in 2013.
The immigration cap is also a way to win back alienated voters following the September 24th election, in which the CDU/CSU coalition lost 8% of the vote and the anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany Party scored an unprecedented 12.6%.
Moving forward, all asylum seekers will need to meet certain requirements to remain in Germany. If they fail, they will be sent home.
The German constitution prohibits officials from turning refugees away at the border, so all new asylum seekers will be admitted temporarily until the interview process is complete.
Merkel’s faction even managed to add wording to the deal that allows for exceptions during emergencies:
“If the limit cannot be kept because of international or national developments, the federal government and the Bundestag can decide on suitable adjustments to either raise or lower the target,” reads the agreement.
Leadership from both parties also agreed on the need for a new policy on the regulation of skilled immigrants coming into Germany – which is a demand of the pro-business Free Democrats.
Asylum = Immigration
The German Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) has been widely criticized for treating refugee status as a pathway to immigration.
BAMF is required to double check the details of every approved refugee case after three years to determine whether there is still danger in the person’s home country. If the agency fails or forgets to check the status of a refugee by the third year, that person is given permanent residency in Germany.
So far this year, BAMF has examined less than 2,000 of over 100,000 potential cases and has revoked the refugee status of only 206 people.
“If BAMF rarely checks whether a refugee still needs protection at all, and we grant him a legal entitlement to an unlimited residence permit after only three years, we make the right to asylum the right to immigration,” argues CDU politician Armin Schuster.
Author’s Note: Legal immigrants are people who want to come to a new country. They intend to give up what they had in the past and work towards a new future. Refugees, on the other hand, are people who were forced from their homes by war, famine, or disease. They never wanted to leave, and the ultimate goal should always be to send them back home when it is safe.
Of course, the refugees in Germany do not want to leave. They are enjoying a new lifestyle far beyond what they had before, and with generous government assistance far beyond what Germany is capable of maintaining. The refugee cap is a move in the right direction, but the damage is already done. Germany should seal off its borders until it finds a way to accommodate the refugees already living there.
Editor’s note: It seems German leadership is oblivious to the trend that refugees are being created by the effects of overpopulation, which will increase substantially over the short term. The overflow heads to Europe where they are unhappy, uncomfortable and unable to cope with a new culture. It would be much better to keep them in a temporary situation much closer to their home countries, where they could be poised to rebuild their homeland’s after whatever dire circumstances it encountered before.