Germany faces a significant challenge in addressing the issue of deporting refugees whose asylum applications have been rejected or who have committed crimes. Reports indicate an increase in the number of such refugees, reaching a total of 300,000 individuals according to official lists.
The authorities rely on implementing gradual measures for approximately 80 percent of them, and they ordered about 54,000 of them to leave immediately.
With challenges in implementing these orders with concerned countries, the government seeks to negotiate deals with nations that refuse to repatriate their citizens, a task considered difficult according to observers of the situation.
The Refugee Crisis in Germany
From January to May of the past year, approximately 123,000 asylum seekers arrived in Germany, a significantly larger number compared to the same period in the previous year, during which 218,000 individuals had applied for asylum.
The increase in the number of foreigners who should be deported from Germany came as a result of immigrants from Southeast European countries. The Federal Office for Migration and Refugees rejected their requests based on European Union regulations that require them to return to the country of entry at the external borders of the Union.
Due to this situation, many of them were forced to seek refuge in archdioceses and monasteries affiliated with churches. For example, currently, 45 people are being hosted by the Protestant Church in Bavaria, most of whom arrived from Bulgaria and Romania after their asylum requests were rejected.
Despite their asylum applications including claims of being subjected to brutal beatings and assaults, those accounts did not receive sufficient attention from the officials at the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees, who deemed Bulgaria a safe country.
The president of the Refugee Aid Association, Stefan Raichl, spoke about the reports gathered from 150 refugees from Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria who entered Germany via Bulgaria.
Those reports mentioned cases of some individuals being forced to strip naked while being detained in police stations in Sofia, and subjected to beatings before being transferred to prison.
The refugees have expressed their concern about their future after deportation and the possibility of living homeless on the streets of the Bulgarian capital.
With regard to deportations to Afghanistan, Berlin is facing a major challenge in returning criminals and people classified as dangerous, who pose a threat to public safety.
The Ministry of the Interior stresses the need to reach an agreement with the Afghan government on the acceptance of these people and to specify the details of the implementation procedures, such as identification and the issuance of the required documents for return.
The ministry adds that the difficult security situation in Afghanistan and the absence of an internationally recognized government make it necessary to clarify the standards and guarantees, especially since international human rights agreements prohibit the deportation of people to areas that may be exposed to violations.
In conclusion, it can be concluded that deportations cannot currently be carried out in the absence of any dialogue with the Taliban, which is not internationally recognized, given that Berlin has also restricted its assistance to Afghanistan due to the Taliban’s ban on women working in international aid organizations.
Finally, Der Spiegel reports that German authorities deported 3,560 refugees in the first quarter of this year, compared to 13,000 in the same period last year. These operations included people from Georgia, North Macedonia, Albania, Serbia, Moldova, Iraq, Lebanon, Guinea, and India.
The principle of subsidiary protection for Palestinian refugees is established as a necessary and vital concept, but in some cases, the deportation of these people becomes almost impossible due to the complex challenges that stand in the way.
In this context, Thomas Oberhauser, the chairman of the executive committee of the working group on immigration law at the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees, emphasizes that Palestinians are usually considered stateless, which complicates the issue of deportation as they do not enjoy full protection but remain in Germany under subsidiary protection.
Of course, deportation to Palestine is not possible, as Germany does not recognize Palestine as a state, and it is never permissible to return a person to a country where they are threatened with death. This makes the situation difficult and complex.
Ayad, a Palestinian resident of Germany, says he is granted a Duldung toleration residence, which applies to individuals who are ordered to leave the country but are currently not subject to deportation due to difficulties they face.
The situation for Palestinian asylum seekers is different, as some are considered stateless and others are classified as having uncertain identities. Based on this classification, stateless persons are granted residence permits of up to three years, while individuals with uncertain identities receive residence permits that are renewable for a maximum of six months.
There is also a discrepancy in the way German authorities treat Palestinian immigrants from countries that have experienced war, such as Libya and Syria, compared to those who have arrived from Lebanon and Jordan. In the first cases, the authorities show greater flexibility.
Victoria Rietig, the head of the migration program at the German Council on Foreign Relations, believes that the measures taken to facilitate deportations or tighten asylum policies for refugees do not actually achieve tangible results.
It is noted that there is a need for cooperation between countries of origin and transit countries, with Europe providing incentives to attract this cooperation and make it attractive to other countries.
Migration expert Gerald Knaus believes that the focus on deportations is a necessary part of the solution, but it cannot solve the problem of municipal overcrowding or speed up the asylum process.
In addition, he points to the need for a mature political regulation of borders within Europe. With regard to the recent European decisions aimed at reducing the number of asylum seekers and implementing uniform deportation procedures, Knaus considers this step as a first step in the right direction.
However, it emphasizes the importance of cooperation between countries of origin and transit countries, and the need for Europe to provide incentives that make this cooperation attractive.
From Knaus’s perspective, the EU’s desire to reduce asylum applications is a positive step, but it may not be enough to thwart right-wing populist currents.
Providing clearer guidelines on collaborating with countries of origin and developing secure mechanisms for such collaboration is essential.
As Kanous emphasizes, amidst the tragic humanitarian conditions faced by many refugees fleeing wars and crises, the European Union must possess sufficient political will to address this crisis and make decisions that alleviate the suffering of these individuals.
The eyes of the world are currently focused on an innovative solution for bringing asylum seekers from Libya to Rwanda. If Rwanda can provide a safe environment to rescue these individuals before they embark on the dangerous journey across the Mediterranean Sea, this proposal is not just a practical test but an experiment aimed at achieving justice and humanity.
In this context, Kanous calls for negotiations with countries like Tunisia to implement swift and fair asylum procedures. These procedures may include opportunities for skilled youth in Tunisia to migrate to Germany through organized migration, thereby strengthening the motivation for the quick deportation of rejected asylum seekers.
In this context, the European Commission has proposed providing economic assistance to Tunisia in exchange for its role in protecting the borders. It is worth noting that the number of illegal immigrants coming through the Tunisian coasts to Europe has significantly increased during the spring season, and they mainly originate from countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. This step could potentially offer a balanced solution to the challenge of migration flows and ensure security and protection for all.
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