„We demand for all people, regardless of which passport they possess: Freedom of movement and the right to stay! Humane lodging! Free access to education, medical care and employment!
Let’s go on the streets – together, loud and angry! Against racist violence, against the government’s plan for the restriction of the right of asylum and the situation on the borders of the EU! For a life in self-determination for all! Solidarity must become political!“
demonstrations in other towns: all dates
Organize against the destruction of the German asylum law!
By welcome2wuppertal | published: 22. Septembre 2015. With some revisions by no lager halle
Dear friends, the plans for a new asylum law the government is pushing forward is something that should be known (also) by refugees living here in Germany. Therefore, we made a summary in English. The draft envisages deep cuts regarding residence, asylum and social rights. Here are some examples of what is going to happen if the draft becomes law: newasylumlaw2english
You make differences in the refugees – we do not!
Statement of some refugees in Wuppertal about the situation of refugees and the proposed modification of the asylum. Looking for solutions with us, not against us!
read the statement
Stop the passage of the new unjust asylum law!
Call by the Antiracist Network Sachsen-Anhalt February 2015
On September 19th 2014, another step of disfranchisement of refugees was taken through the new law to re-determine the balkan-states (Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegowina, Macedonia) as so-called “safe countries of origin”. The grand coalition submitted the draft of the new asylum legislation at the beginning of this year. This is paving the way for further legal restrictions and an expansion of repressive measures against refugees and asylum seekers. The law was passed by the Cabinet on December 3rd 2014. The first reading in the Bundestag (parliament) is going to take place in March 2015 . The law should become effective in June 2015. It’s the old game: the carrot and the stick! There are some concessions towards people with status of Duldung (toleration-status) and at the same time custody to secure deportation, prohibition of entry and residence, as well as expulsions are becoming well-established codes of practice.
The expansion of custody to secure deportation is especially alarming. For example, the draft law says that refugees can be taken in custody to secure deportation if their papers of identity like ID cards have been destroyed, “clearly inconsistent or wrong information was given” or “ a considerable amount of money has been spent for smugglers (Schleuser) for their illegal entry”. Thereby a payment of 3.000€ is enough evidence to assume illegal smuggling. Also, “actions of preparation” to prevent a deportation can lead to custody. All of these are assumed to be indicators for a “danger of escape”. Additionally an entry- and residence-ban can be issued for an asylum seeker whose asylum application was refused. Looking at these phrases in detail the question arises: Which refugee has not entered Germany without identity papers and who actually decides what “clearly inconsistent or wrong information” is? The experience shows that the authorities do not believe or accept the information of most refugees. In future, refugees will only have the choice between “custody to secure deportation” or “custody upon arrival”. Also the unbelievable phrase that refugees, who have spent “a considerable amount of money for smugglers (“Schleuser”) for their illegal entry” is ridiculous. Despite the fact that the term “Schleuser” (smuggler) is not a legal term and will therefore be interpreted by the respective authorities, it is impossible for refugees to reach Europe without help from facilitators. Europe, and especially Germany, has sealed off itself too much and fences and repression measures have been brought to perfection at the external borders of the EU. Deportations will be massively facilitated by an “expulsion interest”. In this process the “state’s expulsion interest” and the “refugee’s interest to stay” should be weighed. But who determines the state’s expulsion interest and who weighs it up? In the end it is the responsible officers, who in no way act neutrally because they are paid by the state. And even if the officers balance correctly in their perspective that the state’s expulsion interest is more important; still it is a fact, that the state has a general interest to deport as many people as possible. Not only “crimes” shall count as a reason for a substantial interest for expulsion in future, but also activities of refugees in a political context. The law says that refugees who are a danger for the “democratic basic order of the federal republic” or the “public safety and order” shall be deported. As a consequence this could mean a prohibition of political activities for refused refugees. Already the self-organization of refugees, who struggle for their right to stay and organize refugee camps or hunger-strikes, can soon be a reason for a substantial interest for expulsion and an early deportation. The justification therefore is an alleged terror threat. Refugees are thus plainly lumped together with terrorists. In this way, a press release by the Federal Ministry of the Interior says: “Like this, the presence of people who are not entitled to the right of residency in Germany shall be rigorously terminated. Their duty to leave the country shall then also be accomplished by force. The new regulations do take the fact, that extremists who are ready to use violence can also be combated by foreigner’s law, more strongly into consideration. “ Additionally a four-day “departure custody” will be introduced which will be the base for the possibility to arrest refugees for four days by judicial order. As if this wasn’t enough, further tightening of residency- and entry-bans for refugees, whose asylum applications were refused as “obviously unfounded”, are being planned. This especially hits refugees from so-called “safe countries of origin” and all people whose reasons to flee are declared to be implausible, for example unaccompanied minor refugees who cannot base their application for asylum on enough reason because of their age. The consequence will be a massive imprisonment of people who re-enter Europe after having already applied for asylum earlier. The seemingly improvements, that refugees who have been tolerated (“geduldet”) for many years get a chance for a residency permit, are marked by numerous aggravations and restrictions, which affect all refugees. Moreover almost no one will be able to take advantage from these new regulations any more if the law goes into effect. Because the people, who are now tolerated („geduldet“) for many years, will then sit in prison and thus not fulfill the requirements for a residency permission. There are more restrictions which will be introduced with this law. We are now just showing the most dramatic consequences of the law from our perspective.
In summary, there is enough reason for the assumption that in future all refugees entering Germany shall be locked up. It is also assumed that the number of deportations will increase enormously. The basic right of asylum and the right to have a “fair” access to an asylum procedure will therfore be abolished completely. Refugees are already criminalized at their entry in Germany. They will be denied any chance for a “fair” trial. The factual prohibition of political activities for refugees is an attack on all politically active people in Germany. The right of freedom of opinion and of political association are put in question , even if it specifically affects refugees in this case. The phrase saying that in case of “danger of escape” (Fluchtgefahr) refugees can be kept in custody of reception or to secure deportation makes the whole law absurd. Speaking about a “danger of escape” (Fluchttgefahr) in connection to refugees is probably the most extreme mockery, the so-called asylum law tries to get away with. Therefore we call people to take a stand against this new unjust law. So as not to leave this law uncriticized a nation-wide campaign is under progress. A nation-wide week of action about the issue shall take place as well. If you want to participate or have further ideas let us know, our contact information is on our website. Look out for announcements and inform yourself. Let us not accept this further tightening of the asylum laws without a fight! Get active! On every level and by all means necessary!
Flight (Flucht) is not and will never be a crime! It hits some of us, but is directed at all of us!
The timeline for the voting on the law is:
6.3.2015: Bundestag, 1. Reading
24.4.2015: Bundestag, 2. Reading
12.6.2015: Bundesrat, 2. Round
June 2015: Implementation of the law
download the law draft (german): http://www.bundesrat.de/SharedDocs/drucksachen/2014/0601-0700/642-14.pdf? __blob=publicationFile&v=1
Summary of a Draft Law redefining residency rights and termination of residency [expulsion or deportation]
This draft law was supposed to have been approved by the German Cabinet on 3 December 2014 to carry out an agreement of the coalition treaty . It was supposed to give a perspective to people having a residency status of “geduldet” [toleration]. What is at stake here is nothing less than a legal residency for people who had lived for years stuck with the insecurity of their status as merely tolerated, forced to live in refugee camps, and forbidden to work or attend college. The tolerated refugees will not get much out of this draft law. It includes clauses which would practically eliminate the status of legal residency/Bleiberecht , because hardly anyone would every get it. For asylum seekers, or people who already have a residency permit, the draft law makes it possible to deport a person if “his presence threatens the public order and security, the free democratic basic order of the state or other substantial interests of the Federal Republic of Germany”. What is new is the introduction of “expulsion interest” as well as the vague wording “or other substantial interests” which could lead to a deportation. This draft represents additional tightening of the asylum law, which could affect tens of thousands of refugees in Germany, i.e. the expansion of the prohibition of entrance and residency. The lawmakers have also filled the term “risk of absconding/fleeing“ with criteria, which would lead to a massive use of detention pending deportation. In June, the Federal Supreme court decided, that Dublin cases cannot automatically to be incarcerated pending deportation. The draft law opens the doors to a real a real dystopia/hell: The increasing incarceration, and deportation of asylum seers. The law is scheduled go into effect by June.
In view of the number of refugees, which have increased due to wars and crises, and the racist public discourse, particularly Horst Seehofer “We are not the welfare office for the whole world” and BILD newspaper “Deluge of asylum seekers from Kosovo”, humanitarian speeches are no longer of interest. It looks as though the Federal Government of Germany had taken the 19 point Program of Pegida and written it up as a draft law, even before Lutz Bachmann gathered up the mob in Dresden. The first draft of 2014, for example, had a connection between a rejected application for asylum and the accusation that the asylum seeker tried to misuse public services. And it proposed detention pending deportation for people who had evaded boarder control, which, in practice, applies to all refugees. For appearances sake, the German Federal Government made itself open to compromise. Even if the Draft of 2015 has rescinded a few of the worst points, one can not underestimate its repressive and isolating effect on refugees. On the contrary, it is in the tradition of 1992 and the destruction of the basic right of asylum. The only difference is that, this time, the lawmakers were faster than the racist mobs on the street.
The Draft Law is not expected to come before the Bundesrat/federal Assembly, because it is not supposed to concern the states. The participation of the Bundesrat committees have, so far, made only minor corrections to prettify the Draft. The question is, will the opposition [in the Bundesrat] use the opportunity to have the [Court] in Karlsruhe investigate if the Draft does have to go to the Bundesrat [for a vote]. There are certainly grounds to do this, the decision on entry and exclusion/Aufenthaltsverbots will be made by the local immigration authorities. But is there any chance left for such and intervention? Here is the current expected timeline of the Draft:
6 .Feb.2015: Bundesrat, First Reading
6.March.2015; Bundestag, First Reading
24.April.2015: Bundestag, Second Reading
12.June.2015: Bundesrat, Second Round
June 2015: The Law goes into force 1.
1. Expansion of Detention Centers/Detention Pending Deportation
The Draft Law is to be criticized because it is above all a massive expansion of deportation detention. The legal situation changed with the adoption of Dublin III in 2014. The European law already provided provisions for detention of asylum seekers according to the Dublin procedures. An essential requirement is the so-called flight risk, which must be based on „objective criteria defined by law“ common to all member states. These criteria have not existed, which is why the Supreme Court declared detention inadmissible. The new draft law, which is now to be submitted, designates the criteria of the risk of flight for the first time.
§ 2. Definitions and Requirements
(14) Concrete evidence within the meaning of § 62 paragraph 3 sentence 1 number 5 can be:
1. the alien in the past revoked access by officials, by having changed his whereabouts without notifying the authorities, despite having been notified of this obligation to specify an address where he can be reached, even when the change of address is temporary,
2. the alien lies about his identity, in particular by suppression or destruction of identity or travel documents, or pretending a false identity,
3. the alien has refused or omitted cooperation to establish his identity or, from the circumstances of the individual case, it can be concluded that he wants to actively resist deportation,
4. the alien had paid a smuggler a large amount of money in order to enter the country illegally,
5. the alien has expressly stated that he wants to evade deportation or
6. In order to escape deportation, the alien has made other specific preparatory acts of similar seriousness that cannot be overcome by the use of direct coercion.
(15)[…] if the alien has left a member state prior to the conclusion of an ongoing process where the determination of jurisdiction or for examining an application for international protection, and the circumstances of the establishment Federal Territory indicate specifically that he does not want to go to the relevant Member State in the foreseeable future . In the process of issuing detention orders for delivery to Regulation ( EU) No . 604/2013 , the provisions of the Act on Proceedings in Family Matters and in Matters of Voluntary Jurisdiction in accordance with applicable where the procedure laid down in Regulation (EU) No . 604/2013 is otherwise provided.
It is absolutely impossible for asylum seekers to enter Germany without expensive smugglers, because the country has completely barricaded itself against refugees. If an amount of more than 3,000 euros was paid, this is sufficient for suspicion of smuggling. The smuggling charges didn’t used to be set at a certain amount, simply paying a smuggler was an indication [ that the law had been broken}. Now there is a set an amount, for Dublin Cases it may not be a problem, because no one pays more than 3000 € for intra-European transfer. But the concept of „smuggler“ is no clear legal term, and is therefore subject to Judicial interpretation. The destruction of identity and travel documents or measures for identity deception can result in imprisonment. Refugees are forced to use these methods even to get to Germany and be able to ask for asylum. The Fortress Europe makes legal entry impossible, and criminalizes those who risk their lives to get here. If an asylum seeker moves to another country, before his case has been decided (no. 15), this can lead to imprisonment. This fact is especially true for Dublin cases. However, this requires that the refugee get a prior instruction concerning the danger of detention. The Judge must consider whether such an instruction was given in Italy, Bulgaria and other countries. How this is done in practice is questionable. What is problematic is mainly the suspicious activity and so-called acts preparation to avoid deportation. What could these vague, formulations include? If deportation is imminent and the person contacts anti-racist initiatives, for example, could that be considered a „preparatory act in order to evade deportation? This section could bring new problems for groups that consider it legitimate to hold blockades against deportations. With this draft, just like the last, the result is still detention, and a detention without trial. This means, once again, refugees face special laws, that are considered outside of the normal legal framework.
The UNHCF (United Nations Refugee Agency) came to the right conclusion, “[…] that such a broad interpretation of the significant flight risk could lead to a widespread and systematic detention of asylum seekers, since, in practice, a large proportion of asylum seekers probably meet one or more of the above in the criteria listed in the draft. This would subject asylum seekers who are subject to the Dublin procedure, to a general suspicion that they were trying to escape deportation without ever even had room for an examination of reasons in individual cases.
What is completely new, is § 62b for departure detention is that it can be used, regardless of the requirements, as a measure of preventive detention, if the departure deadline [of a visa?] has expired, if the person has not fulfilled his legal obligation to cooperate (procurement of identity papers), or has misled [the authorities] about his identity. Deportation custody can last up to four days and take place in the transit area of the airport or in a shelter. The jurisdiction of the Border Police has also been expanded. They have recently been made responsible, not only for the rejection and forcible return at the border, but now also directly for the transfer of third-country nationals (on the basis of (EU) No. 604/2013) if the person is found by the authority „in border areas and the encounter occurred immediately after an illegal entry“. Here, the expansion of entry and residence bans, are made extremely clear.
Thus, through various paragraphs/clauses, a system of exclusion and imprisonment was developed, which criminalizes refugees, and systematically deprives them of their rights. Fortress Europe expands beyond national boundaries. Simultaneously, the immigration authorities are „relieved“ because the imprisonment can take place outside the borders of Germany .
2. Expanding the entry and residence ban
The draft provides that rejected asylum procedures (i.e. inadmissible, irrelevant, manifestly unfounded) has a direct result in banning entry and residence. This ban previously meant that people were to be/could be rejected or deported, now a rejected application leads directly to a deportation. This ban may vary as to length of time, and may be subject to conditions or extended (i.e.: criminal record and drug use). Theoretically, the ban may not exceed a period of five years, unless the person has been deported due to a criminal conviction, or if there is a presumed „threat to public safety and order“. Then, the time limit can even be extended. There are exceptions provided for the time period, in that they correspond to the „preservation of protectable interests of the asylum seekers“. What this means, remains unclear. As a result, the lawyers who defend a refugee who has been rejected, not only have to file a legal objection to the rejection and deportation decisions, but also against the entry and exit ban.
§ 11 Entry and Residency Ban
(7) Against a foreigner,
1. whose asylum application under § 29a, paragraph 1 of the Asylum Procedure Act/Asylverfahrensgesetzes, was rejected as ‘obviously unfounded’ no subsidiary protection was granted, the conditions for a prohibition of deportation under § 60 paragraph 5 or 7 was not determined and the person does not have a residence permit. Especially Dublin cases are disadvantaged by this. For example, an application is rejected as „inadmissible“ in the Dublin procedure, which means juristically that another EU Member State is responsible for deciding the case. This applies to most Dublin cases. [Refugees] are systematically criminalized throughout Europe and systematically limited because they are accused of having applied for asylum, which was rejected, because responsibilities are distributed in Germany’s favor. An alien against whom there is a prohibition on entry and stay, and who arrives again to reside in Germany can be arrested for in order to refuse him/her entry. So a rejected asylum application leads in the case of a return to detention. The system is perfect.
3. Recognition of Professional Qualifications
Contrary to the draft of 2014, the current version contains the clause 17a for recognition of foreign qualifications. A residence permit may be granted for the purpose of recognition of professional qualifications. This rule applies especially to so-called experts who may then obtain gainful employment if the Federal Employment Agency/Agentur für Arbeit has given prior consent. Appearances are deceptive, because even this residency permit is temporary. Excluded from this rule are people without professional qualifications or whose qualifications are not recognized in Germany. A good refugee is (now by law), one who is economically useful.
4. Inadequate formulation of §23
According to §23 of the Law, the Federal Ministry of the Interior can now order in the context of Resettlement, that refugees selected by the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees can be granted permission to enter [Germany]. Under what criteria these exceptions will be granted, remains open. The selected individuals are subject to a fixed abode/ Residenzpflicht? and get their residence permit after seven years. A resident support would be unlawful. The resettlement refugees continue to receive no travel documents, which makes a simple naturalization impossible. An Integration Course is not made available to them.
5. A right to stay for old cases
This is a transformation of §25a Residence towards a right to stay for tolerated/geduldete youth and adolescents. The minimum residency to qualify has been reduced from six to four years for adolescents. The formulation is not only demands „successful schooling“, but also to a nebulous integration performance must have been shown by the young people. Therefore, the behavior of the young people must show that they can „Integrated into living conditions of the Federal Republic“ in and there are no grounds for believing he or she does not believe in democratic principles.
(1) A juvenile or adolescent who is a tolerated foreigner to be granted a residence permit if: 1. he has been tolerated or staying with a residence permit in the Federal territory for four consecutive years,
2. he has regularly and generally successfully attended school for four years or acquired vocational qualifications from a recognized school, in the Federal Republic of Germany,
3. If the application for a residence permit is made before the age of 21 years,
4 that he has shown through previous education and living conditions in Federal Republic of Germany and that he can participate in the life style in the Federal Republic of Germany and
5. there is no concrete evidence that the foreigner is not committed to the free democratic basic order of the Federal Republic of Germany.
The right to stay for tolerated adults is listed b, assuming a „successful economic integration“ in §25b under the condition of accomplishing a “successful economic integration”. Applicants must have lived in Germany for the last eight years, must be able to finance himself and speak enough German. With families, it is sufficient to have spent six years here. The conditions also include commitment to the political system of the Federal Republic and he/she has complied with the law. This residency permit is scheduled for two years and includes a work permit. This paragraph/clause is basically aimed at so-called old cases, i.e. people who have been living in Germany for several years and are stuck in the loop toleration. Only 30,000 people are covered by this rule. With the use of the very restrictively managed travel restrictions, asylum seekers can be excluded from any right to stay. ProAsyl points out that with the new regulations the cycle of repeating toleration will in no way be abolished. „Instead, the pressure on the person concerned, to leave the country is increased. This scheme is constructed to allow the empty promise of a right to stay will fizzle out into nothing in many cases.“
6. Expulsion interests outweighs refugee rights
According to the new conception, there is a so-called „interest in the expulsion“ from Germany. Where before in §5 there were still “reasons to deport”, which indicated against residence permit, this has been replaced by the term „expulsion interest“. A listing of „individually, to be considered expulsion interests which are the subject of unfinished criminal or other proceedings“ would therefore be possible by the immigration authorities. The expulsion interest may also go back to being turned back by border controls. What is meant by „other proceedings“ is not explained and leaves room for interpretation. The Draft Law, sees a expulsion interest, by not only due to crimes, but also in a behavior that endangers the „free democratic basic order of the Federal Republic“ or „law and order“. The relevant paragraphs 53 to 55 are full of Grey zones that relate primarily to counter-terrorism. That could also suggest the consequence of a ban on political advice to asylum seekers. Already, participation in demonstrations, refugee camps, or hunger strikes may, in the future, justify a significant interest in deportation, if, by doing so, other people are discouraged from „participation in economic, cultural and social life in the Federal Republic of Germany.“
§54 Expulsion interest
4. To follow political or religious goals which take part in violent acts or publicly call for violence or threatens use of violence or
5. calls for hate against a part of the population; this is to be assumed if a child or young people are targeted persistently worked on to create or increase or publicize acts to hatred against members of certain ethnic groups or religions, or publicize in a collection or through distributing writings in a way that is likely to disturb public order and safety.
(2) the expulsion interest in the sense of § 53 paragraph 1 weighs heavily if the alien
4. Consumes heroin, cocaine or a comparable dangerous narcotics and refuses to undergo recommended rehabilitation or avoids treatment or avoids treatment
5. approaches another person in a reprehensible manner, in particular the use or threat of violence, and thereby prevents them from participating in the economic, cultural and social life in the Federal Republic of Germany to participate,
7. if in a interview by the German diplomatic mission or Busländerbehörde/Aliens Authority in Germany which serves to clarify concerns regarding the entry or continued stay, compared to previous stays in Germany or other countries, [if a refugee] is suspicious, or willfully gives wrong or incomplete information, in any material respects, on links with persons or organizations that have the support of terrorism or the threat to the free democratic basic order or the security of the Federal Republic of Germany; then expulsion on this basis is permissible only if before the questioning, the alien had been explicitly notified of the purpose of the the questioning and the legal consequences of giving , false or incomplete information. Then the expulsion interest is offset by the interests of the person concerned. Such an evaluation is highly debatable. Refugee status is lost when the so-called expulsion interest is the principle of weight. And this is true despite the fact that only a legal presumption that serious grounds of public security and order exist, result in an expulsion. The bill theoretically serves the fight against extremism and terroristic currents, but misuses immigration law and can lead to the general criminalization of immigrants.
7. Extension of powers to clarify identity
In the regulation clarification of identity, §48 provides the possibility to read the digital material of an interested party. In this context, a legal basis for the retrieval of necessary access for telecommunication services is enshrined in law. Many refugees oppose deportation in that they conceal their identity. According to the draft law, in these cases, the authorities may memory sticks, email accounts and mobile phones, to determine the identity of the refugee.
§ 48a collection of access data [accounts, passwords]
(1) If the alien doesn’t provide the necessary access data for evaluation of the terminals he used for telecommunication, the telecommunications company may give information about the data necessary to access information from the terminals or storage devices [usb sticks, or hard disks] which were used on those terminals.