What the new government plans for refugees and migrants

By Michael Seifert

The new federal government, formed by the so-called “traffic light coalition” of the parties SPD, “Bündnis 90/Die Grünen” and FDP, has described its plans for the next four years in a coalition agreement. This also contains the political intentions for migration, integration and refugee policy. The realisation of these plans is to take place in laws and amendments to laws. At the moment, no one knows what will actually be implemented and when. So these are declarations of intent.

tünews INTERNATIONAL took a closer look at the coalition agreement. The new government formulates as its goal: “We want to create a new beginning in migration and integration policy that does justice to a modern immigration country.” To achieve this, the previous policy must be completely rethought.

For example, “the complicated system” of toleration is to be changed. The government wants to create “new opportunities for people who have already become part of our society. Well-integrated young people are to be given the opportunity for a right to stay after three years of residence in Germany and up to the age of 27. Individuals and families should be granted an earlier right to stay for special integration achievements by tolerated persons. Tolerated persons in training and employment are to be given more legal security through a residence permit. In the case of problems clarifying the identity of persons, the possibility of an “affirmation in lieu of an oath” is to be created.

The time limits for the settlement permit and naturalisation are to be shortened: to three and five years respectively. In order to integrate as quickly as possible, all people coming to Germany are to be able to attend integration courses from the beginning.

The government also wants to reform asylum procedures: “They must be fair, swift and legally secure. We want faster decisions in asylum processes as well as a standardisation of jurisdiction and will quickly present a bill to this end.” For example, the decisions of the BAMF are to be improved in quality and revocation reviews for persons entitled to asylum after three years should only take place for justified reasons.

Family reunification should be made easier, e.g. for subsidiary protection beneficiaries. Furthermore: “We will not leave the underage siblings behind in the case of justified parental reunification with unaccompanied minors.”

On the other hand, a “repatriation offensive” is announced “in order to implement departures more consistently, especially the deportation of criminals and endangerers. In future, the federal government will support the Bundesländer more strongly in deportations.” Voluntary departure, however, always has priority. The state return assistance for people without the right to stay is to be better funded. A temporary national ban on deportations should be made possible for individual countries of origin.

A common European and international refugee policy is to be created through “a fundamental reform of the European asylum system”, which the new government wants to advocate: “Our goal is a fair distribution of responsibility and competence in reception between the EU states. We want better standards for protection seekers in asylum procedures and in integration in the EU states. We want to effectively reduce irregular migration and combat the causes of life-threatening flight. We want to end illegal refoulement and the suffering at the external borders.”

Finally, the government wants to learn lessons from the withdrawal of the Bundeswehr from Afghanistan: “We will not leave our allies behind. We want to give special protection to those who have stood by the Federal Republic of Germany as partners abroad and have worked for democracy and social advancement.” Local forces at risk and their closest family members are to be brought to

safety through unbureaucratic procedures – through humanitarian visas for persons at risk and digital allocation procedures.

For further reading, see the Coalition Agreement on pages 137 to 142:

2021-12-10-koav2021-data.pdf (bundesregierung.de)

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Im Reichstagsgebäude in Berlin tagt der deutsche Bundestag. Foto: tünews INTERNATIONAL / Mostafa Elyasian.

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