Austrian parties proposes harsher migration policies
Photo credit: Business Insider. Police maintain order as migrants attempt to leave the border crossing in Nickelsdorf, Austria.
TMP – 13/02/2018
The new Austrian government formed out of a coalition of the right-of-centre Christian Democrats and the far-right Freedom Party is proposing hard-hitting new migration policies.
The proposed plan would permit the appropriation of electronic devices like mobile phones upon entry to allow border officials to analyse mobile data so as to determine migrants’ identities; confiscation of migrants’ money to cover the well-being of new arrivals; and introduce cancellation of benefits for some migrants who have not contributed financially to the country.
The ruling parties outlined the proposed regulations in a 180-page joint document.
Detailing the cancellation of benefits to some migrants, the country’s new Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said: “It will no longer happen for migrants who have never worked here a single day or paid anything into the social system to get thousands of euros in welfare.”
“This change is something we want to make sure takes place in the next five years. Our goals are very clear, we want to relieve our tax-payers, strengthen our world position and save our social system, and above all, we want to stand for more national security through the fight of illegal immigration,” he added.
Reports on ministerial posts revealed that the Interior, Defence and Foreign Affairs ministries will be headed by the Freedom Party. This means issues of immigration, refugees, crime and terrorism will controlled by a party whose mandate includes tighter restrictions on migration than the evenChristian Democrats.
The new Austrian leader has already reaffirmed his country’s rejection of the EU’s migrant quota, joining Hungary and Poland in a stand-off with the bloc.
Chancellor Kurz often credits his role in fighting irregular migration to the country during his time as foreign minister, after he stopped the flow of illegal migrants along the Balkans route by closing Austria’s borders. He has promised to persuade Europe to replicate his method and close the central Mediterranean route.