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Update on Germany: new Grand Coalition migrant policies

Update on Germany: new Grand Coalition migrant policies January 30, 2016

This, from Friday’s Der Spiegel: “Grand Coalition agrees on a new Asylum Package,” as well as “Refugee policy: The compromise-compromise – the facts about Asylum Package II“, which provides the details of the new agreement between the leaders of the CDU/CSU/SDP Grand Coalition:

  • Refugees with subsidiary protection will not be able to bring families to Germany for the next two years, with the exception of Syrians whose family members are currently in refugee camps in Turkey, Jordan, and Lebanon, up to limited quotas.
  • Morocco, Algeria, and Tunesia will be designated as safe countries of origin, so that rejected asylum-seekers will be sent back to these countries.
  • All asylum-seekers from safe countries will be brought to new processing centers, and their cases processed more quickly.  These individuals will also not be permitted to leave the local area or they’ll lose benefits and their cases will be closed.
  • Asylum-seekers will be charged EUR 10 per month for integration courses.
  • The provisions for illness as a reason to defer deportation will be tightened, so that only serious illnesses can protect against deportation.

Here’s a brief (and incomplete) summary in English.

“Subsidiary protection”, by the way, is a part of German refugee/asylum law, as explained here.  Simply being from a country in which there is an ongoing war is not enough to qualify one for permanent resettlement in Germany, but only protection until such time as the situation in one’s home country becomes peaceful.  This is the status that’s being granted to the Syrians and other similarly-situated refugees, not a permanent residency.

Also noteworthy:

According to Reuters,

German Chancellor Angela Merkel tried on Saturday to placate the increasingly vocal critics of her open-door policy for refugees by insisting that most refugees from Syria and Iraq would go home once the conflicts there had ended. . . .

Merkel said it was important to stress that most refugees had only been allowed to stay for a limited period.

“We need … to say to people that this is a temporary residential status and we expect that, once there is peace in Syria again, once IS has been defeated in Iraq, that you go back to your home country with the knowledge that you have gained,” she told a regional meeting of her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) in the state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.

Merkel said 70 percent of the refugees who fled to Germany from former Yugoslavia in the 1990s had returned.

Here, just for documentation/reference’s sake, is an article with the untranslated quote.

Is this too little, too late?

I don’t know.  Time will tell, eh?

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