While the German federal government is looking to increase the number of deportations of failed asylum seekers, regional governments led by left-wing parties are trying to prevent them.
According to the German Federal Agency for Migration and Refugees (BAMF), of the 1.4 million migrants who came to the country since 2014 fewer than half were granted full asylum; the remaining half were then considered either failed asylum seekers or illegal immigrants, reports Die Welt.
Of the hundreds of thousands of potential deportees only 95,000, mostly from the Balkans, have voluntarily left Germany to return to their homelands. While some Syrians and Afghan nationals have gone back due to disappointment with their standard of living in asylum homes, many failed asylum seekers from North Africa remain due to the high costs and uncooperative governments in their home countries.
The parties of the German left – the Social Democrats (SPD), the Greens, and Die Linke (the Left) – want to open up potential paths for failed asylum seekers to become residents rather than deport them. Already, the new left-wing coalition government in the German capital of Berlin are using their power to prevent deportations in the city.
The “red-red-green” coalition as they are known want to create a “paradigm shift” that would encourage rejected asylum seekers to go home voluntarily rather than force them to leave. The move could cause problems as many who refuse to leave could be given permanent residency status which after eight years could even lead to them being afforded German citizenship.
Despite the government wanting to return some 12,000 Afghan nationals, the left parties claim the country is still too dangerous for them to return, despite the German federal government now recognising Afghanistan as a safe country. The red-red-greens even reject the idea of deporting Roma back to the Balkan states because they assert that they would suffer from a lack of education, poverty, and discrimination.
Aside from Berlin, several other regions have come out against forced deportations such as Bremen, Thuringia, and Schleswig-Holstein whose governments are all controlled by left-wing coalitions.
Along with supporting an end to forced deportations, the left parties are advocates of family reunification being extended beyond their immediate family allowing migrants to bring their extended family to Germany, as well.
Many migrants, Syrians in particular, are suing BAMF to get full asylum status to make family reunification easier, but these cases have led to one judge declaring that not all Syrians should be automatically regarded as legitimate refugees.