Germany begins to shift toward more assertiveness on immigration

Germany begins to shift toward more assertiveness on immigration

After a night of negotiations, the German regions and the federal state agreed, on Tuesday, November 7, on a series of measures aimed at tougher regulation of migration and asylum policy across the Rhine River. For Germany, which over the past two years has adopted an approach based on openness, guided by the urgent need to fill its labor shortage, this represents a turning point. The idea now dominates the country that it is “It has reached its limits.”according to an expression widely used by political leaders of all stripes. “We need mechanisms to contain the numbers of refugees arriving here, especially through illegal migration.”Malu Dreyer, Social Democratic Minister and President of Rhineland-Palatinate, made the announcement ahead of the negotiations.

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The package of measures announced Tuesday morning includes provisions to reduce the processing time for asylum claims and speed up deadlines for legal appeals of such decisions, which often stretch for years.

The government also wants to conclude agreements with the countries of origin and transit of migrants, to facilitate their deportation to the border, in exchange for legal immigration to Germany. Berlin wants to strengthen controls on Europe’s internal borders and plans to examine the situation of asylum seekers in third countries. Family reunification must be limited, and a cross-party commission must evaluate reform of the asylum system. It was also agreed on a new financial distribution of costs between the federal state and the regions.

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The load is very heavy

The Chancellery gave the signal for this shift in immigration affairs on October 20. In an interview with SPIEGELOlaf Schulz announced that Germany “They finally had to carry out large-scale evacuations.”. This is evidence of the new firmness on this issue on the part of the Social Democratic Chancellor, who declared back in January, from the podium of the Davos conference, that “All who [voulaient] Roll up your sleeves [étaient] welcome to Germany “. Nine months later, with the country in recession and the far right making progress, it is not the time to issue calls, but rather to impose strict restrictions on illegal immigration flows, in consultation with the Christian Democratic opposition in the Bundestag.

Politically, the turning point is delicate, while the number of asylum seekers across the Rhine is very high. According to figures from the Office of Immigration and RefugeesMore than 250,000 people applied for asylum between January and September of this year, 60% of whom came from Syria, Afghanistan and Turkey. This number could reach 300,000 by the end of the year, according to experts, after 240,000 in 2022. Added to these people are 1.2 million Ukrainians who have arrived since February 2022, and are exempt from asylum procedures.

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