Migrants banned from settling in German city

Photo credit: Alkis Konstantinidis/Reuters.

TMP – 01/11/2017

The city of Salzgitter in the German state of Lower Saxony is preventing further migrants from settling in the city, after thousands have moved there in the past year.

The city has a population of 106,000 and is home to 5,800 refugees, the majority of whom have arrived within the last year. The permission to restrict new migrants from residing in the city was officially approved by the state’s Interior Ministry on 12 October.

“This is an exceptional measure aimed at preventing the social and societal exclusion of immigrant refugees,” a decree by the local authorities reads. The state government in Lower Saxony has already invested some 10 million euros in integration programmes.

Refugees will now need proof of employment or have close relatives already living in the city to be allowed to move there. The new decree is based upon a federal law, which officials say is aimed at improving integration.

The mayor of Salzgitter Frank Klingebiel said the town is having difficulties coping with the number of migrants and deems the ban a necessary measure.

“At the moment we are overwhelmed,” he told Focus Online in an interview published last week.

“We urgently need a pause to integrate the refugees already living in Salzgitter in the long term and to secure the social peace,” Klingebiel added.

Meanwhile, two other cities in Lower Saxony – Wilhelmshaven and Delmenhorst – have also asked for permission to ban migrants from settling in the cities.