Traffic light wants to modernize the immigration country Germany

Traffic light wants to modernize the immigration country Germany
Traffic light wants to modernize the immigration country Germany

In terms of migration policy, the SPD, Greens and FDP agree on many points. The first pages of their coalition agreement already read: “We are united by the understanding of Germany as a diverse immigration society.”

The three parties are campaigning for a fresh start in migration and integration policy. They want to enable regular migration and reduce irregular migration – which is almost reminiscent of the Union’s slogans: “Humanity and order”.

Integration: Union criticizes wrong incentives

It should become easier for many people to gain a permanent foothold in Germany. Work bans for people who already live here should be abolished in general. The traffic light parties want to expand integration offers such as language courses.

Tolerated persons should receive a “residence permit on probation” under certain conditions. During this time they have to obtain the necessary papers for a right of residence and prove that they can make a living.

The Union criticizes such plans. Union parliamentary group leader Ralph Brinkhaus (CDU) sees it as the “legalization of illegal migration”. CSU regional group leader Alexander Dobrindt fears that the traffic light plans will create new incentives for more migration to Europe and Germany.

Faster naturalizations and more double passports

The traffic light aims to facilitate naturalization. In future, they should be possible in Germany after five years. Those who integrate particularly well can get a German passport after just three years. So far, this has usually only been possible after eight years in Germany.

The coalition wants to change citizenship law so that people can more easily have several nationalities (“double passport”). A participation law is intended to ensure that people with a migration background can have a greater say in political decisions. Diversity strategies should ensure more diversity in federal authorities.

Points are intended to define skilled immigration

The SPD, Greens and FDP want to create a new immigration system for skilled workers. In addition, there should be a so-called “chance card”, which is based on a point system – a requirement from the election programs of the Greens and FDP. Canada and Australia already have similar models.

However, the coalition agreement does not provide any details on the point system. German bodies should recognize educational and professional qualifications from abroad more easily.

Ampel wants to expand family reunification

The traffic light wants to expand family reunification. In the future, people with what is known as subsidiary protection status should also be able to bring their partners and their underage children to meet them. So far this has only been possible to a limited extent.

Subsidiary protection always takes effect when people are not recognized as refugees but are at risk of serious harm in their country of origin. This is currently the case for many people from Syria.

Asylum: faster procedures at the BAMF

The SPD, Greens and FDP want to accelerate asylum procedures. The Nuremberg Federal Office for Migration is to be relieved. So far, the authority has to check every three years whether the refugee status is still up-to-date. The result: huge mountains of files and long procedures.

In future, the BAMF will only undertake this so-called “revocation check” for a specific reason. This could be the case, for example, when peace reigns in a war country.

An asylum counseling service that is independent from the authorities is to assist applicants. The traffic light wants to standardize the jurisprudence. Both should help to speed up procedures. Asylum applications from countries with low recognition rates should also be processed first. The coalition agreement does not speak of so-called “safe countries of origin”.

Off for AnkER centers

The new federal government does not want to pursue the AnkER centers agreed in the coalition agreement of the grand coalition and set up in 2018. That would be a clear break with previous policy. Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer (CSU) and the Bavarian State Government had long described the AnkER centers as a success story because authorities there handled the entire asylum procedure. Critics complained about the isolation of asylum seekers, which made integration difficult.

SPD, Greens and FDP want “repatriation offensive”

One sentence in the coalition agreement should surprise especially Green supporters: “We are starting a repatriation offensive.” That sounds similar to the demand from the AfD election program for a “deportation offensive”. Above all, the SPD, the Greens and the FDP want to deport criminals and threats more consistently. The federal government should support the states more. Voluntary departure would always have priority.

It remains to be seen whether the new government will actually deport more consistently. Most recently, returns often failed due to a lack of papers or the unwillingness of the countries of origin to accept them.

For individual countries, a deportation freeze can be issued at the will of the coalition partners. But that is not enough for the human rights organization Pro Asyl. She was disappointed that deportations to war and crisis areas are not clearly excluded in the coalition agreement. The Greens had demanded that in their election manifesto.

Bringing European asylum policy out of a dead end

According to the Ampel partners, the European asylum system must be fundamentally reformed. The aim is a fair distribution of responsibility and competence in the reception of refugees – which has always failed in recent years. In order to break through the resistance, especially from Eastern Europe, countries willing to accept should go ahead as the traffic lights will.

The new federal government wants to appoint a special representative to conclude migration agreements with countries from which many refugees come. Unlike the Union, the traffic light does not want to make cooperation dependent on development aid.

Nobody who wants to apply for asylum should be turned back at the EU’s external borders. Such so-called “pushbacks” were most recently observed on the Polish-Belarusian border. In the Mediterranean, the SPD, Greens and FDP want to advocate a state-coordinated sea rescue. A humanitarian admission program like for people from Syria is now also to come for people from Afghanistan.

Who represents migration policy in the cabinet?

The next few years will show which projects the SPD, Greens and FDP really implement in migration policy. The plans for a new immigration system by points, for example, remain very vague in the coalition agreement.

And then the question arises who will represent the “modern immigration country Germany” in the new traffic light federal government. So far, only Cem Özdemir has been traded as a cabinet member by the Greens. What is certain is that there will again be a Minister of State for Integration in the Chancellery. The SPD occupies this position.

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