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AYS Daily Digest 5/6/19: How Germany’s immigration law harms asylum seekers

Parliament will decide about new regulation on Friday / Violence and intimidations in Bavarian camp / Busy and hard day at sea, as many people arrive / Suicide in Ellebæk camp

Solidarity City Cologne’s photo from the announced event on June 7 (Friday) : ‎Nein zum Hau-ab-Gesetz! Schreib an deine Bundestagsabgeordneten! — Join in!

Featured: Germany’s proposed immigration law

On Friday, the German parliament will decide on an immigration law. The changes will also have a huge impact on asylum seekers, especially those who have been rejected, explains Zeit in an analysis.

People without a permanent residence permit will be allowed tolerance for the duration of their employment (Beschäftigungsduldung) until the end of 2023. And educational tolerance will be extended to helper jobs. People will then be protected from deportation for 30 months. However, the requirement is that they will already have been tolerated for 12 months and worked for 18 months for at least 35 hours per week. This law will only apply to people, who arrived before 1 August 2018.

Additionally, there will be new regulations regarding deportations. There will be a new status for people trying to prevent their deportations who are not collaborating in getting their documents. They will have fewer rights than the people with the tolerance and will be more easily detained. Until 2022 they may be detained in regular jails, as long as they are separated from the regular prisoners. A politician of the Social Democrats (SPD) said that the federal states will not be obligated to make use of this practice. For officials it will also be illegal to leak deportation dates and third parties can be held accountable for helping. According to Pro Asyl, they may be detained for 30 days after the departure deadline expires.

Another point are the social benefits. While the government wants to apply the regulations of the constitutional court, it will still make the situation worse for asylum seekers. This is possible, because the costs for electricity and maintaining their flat will be counted as in kind. At the same time, benefits for people in reception centers will be lowered. In return, asylum seekers shall be more supported in getting an education and voluntary activities will be supported with allowances. Amnesty International criticizes, that these cuts are against a ruling of the constitutional court, which stipulates that a subsistence level must be maintained. People who already applied for asylum in another EU country will also receive reduced benefits. If they start a trial against a Dublin deportation, they will also only receive reduced benefits.

Also access to education as well as integration and language courses will be more easily accessible. But many regulations will apply only to people who arrived before 1 August 2019. If they come after, they need to have a good perspective to get a positive decision.

Additionally, Pro Asyl is criticizing, many changes were made last minute during the last hearing this Monday which make the law even stricter.

Since September 2017 there have been reports of violence and intimidation by security guards of people living at a reception center in Bamberg . Taz quotes a sociologist researching the conditions there, saying there is systematic abuse and the administration is looking the other way:

“Violence is part of unofficial deportation politics. The intimidations should make people deport themselves. Because the situation in the camps is not safe anymore.”

Some 1200 people live in the camp in Bamberg. The refugee council even stated that they advise people to only report serious crimes to the police. Previous experiences has shown that the people who file the reports, will be more in focus for deportation. The reports themselves do not change much in the camp. A lawyer also accuses the security of provoking people to violence. In a case from 2017 he now hopes he will win the case and his client will come back to Germany.

Denmark: Suicide in Ellebæk

Activists from Close Ellebæk have information about a suicide in the Ellebæk camp. He was about to be transferred to Germany. “He previously sought asylum in Germany, but the Danish police told him he would be returned his country of origin.”

Serbia: Four people died in truck

Around two weeks ago, four people died trying to leave Serbia, No Name Kitchen reports. “ The incident happened as they were attempting to leave Serbia by crossing inside a truck, unfortunately without any possibility of air circulation.”

Sea: People in distress off of Malta

75 people were in distress in the Maltese Search and Rescue zone this morning. “The people tell us they have spent 36 hours at sea now, they are exhausted, hungry and thirsty”, Alarmphone stated after alerting the MRCC and accused them of not reacting. The Times of Malta reports, that today was the busiest day in recent years with more than 370 arrivals. However, it was not sure, if the 75 people of Alarmphone were among them.

68 people arrived on Lesvos today, according to Aegean Boat Report.

Salvamento Maritimo reported a landing of 15 people in Oinousses, Chios. One 15-day-old child was transferred to hospital. Volunteers assisted on shore.

This comes just after more than 230 people were intercepted by the Greek Coast Guard and Frontex over the weekend, infomigrants reveals. The Libyan Coast Guard intercepted 80 people.

UK: Campaign to protect traumatized people

Refugee Rights in Europe launched a campaign and calls for better support of traumatized people. Several people committed suicide due to a lack of help.

Apart from daily news in English, we also publish weekly summaries in Arabic and Persian. Find them all on our Medium page.

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Are You Syrious?

News digests from the field, mainly for volunteers and people on the move, but also for journalists, decision makers and other parties.