German parliament makes it easier to deport asylum seekers, and retain skilled migrants

The German parliament has passed a new package of bills in an effort to better managed migration and asylum in the country. 

The bills will make it more difficult for rejected asylum seekers to stay but easier for skilled workers to come to the Germany or stay in the country for the duration of their employment.

Known as ‘Geordnete-Rückkehr-Gesetz’, or ‘Orderly Return Law’, the bill on deportations expands the powers of police and immigration authorities and aims to increase the proportion of successful deportations. At the end of February 2019, 240,000 people were awaiting deportation as their asylum applications were rejected in Germany.

Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said the legislation was necessary to ensure failed asylum seekers would be deported. “This is a turning point in our migration policy,” Seehofer said in the Bundestag, adding that in his eyes “this migration package creates a set of rules that respects humanity and order.”

As noted in the bill, those awaiting deportation could also be detained in regular prisons instead of detention centres. The deportees would be separated from other prisoners, but detained so it is easier to coordinate and prepare their documents for return. It will also ease pressure on the limited places in detention centres for deportees in Germany.

For skilled migrants, however, the package aims to improve their access to Germany’s labour market. German employers will no longer be required to prove they found no EU citizen to take the job before they could be allowed to hire a skilled non-EU immigrant.

Skilled workers whose professions are in demand in Germany will be allowed to enter the country and stay for six months to look for a job, if they can prove they can support themselves financially for the duration. Asylum seekers who speak German, have no criminal record, have a job or have some skills or willingness to learn might be more likely to be allowed to stay.

TMP – 14/06/2019

Photo credit: Jesus Fernandez / Shutterstock

Photo caption: Neuoetting, Germany: Migrant seasonal workers pick strawberries in a field