14.06.2007

The German Bundestag is expected to vote today on amendments to the Immigration Act. PRO ASYL criticizes the package of legislation as an “unconstitutional and isolationist attempt to seal itself off from immigrants and refugees.” The Bundestag, says Günter Burkhardt, secretary of Pro Asyl, is taking a complicated and legally dubious bill and railroading it through without careful deliberation. Among the most obvious flaws in the bill are:

  • Refugee-friendly EU directives are implemented in such a distorted way that they lose all meaning. Contrary to the EU mandate, refugees fleeing from internal armed conflicts (e.g. Iraq) still have no entitlement to contemporary protection.
  • The new provisions regulating a “right to stay” are insufficient. Only a tiny handful of individuals with “tolerated” status will qualify under the new policy. “Chain tolerations” were not abolished despite promises to the contrary.
  • The law would completely strip asylum-seekers of their right to challenge their deportation to another EU country pursuant to Dublin II. In other words, even limited judicial review has been completely eliminated and there is nothing to prevent transfers to other EU member states, even if the transfer is completely illegal.
  • Asylum-seekers may be taken into custody pending deportation based solely on the suspicion that another state is responsible for the asylum application. This is a violation of basic constitutional principles.
  • Individuals will no longer receive notification that a deportation order has been entered against them, a fundamental violation of basic constitutional principles. As a result, access to judicial review is practically impossible.
  • Furthermore, endowing immigration authorities to broad, pre-emptive arrest and detention power without having to obtain judicial authorization violates the judicial caveat as defined in art. 104 II of the German constitution.

PRO ASYL ASYL will support refugees affected by these changes in their lawsuits up to the European Court.

Günter Burkardt, secretary

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