The Interior Minister of Austria has announced he wants to see tougher laws on asylum seekers including the stripping of asylum for the committing of criminal offences.
Interior Minister of Austria Wolfgang Sobotka has put to bed any doubt that he will go easy on criminal asylum seekers. Sobotka, who earlier this year took the reigns from former Interior Minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner, announced that he wishes to see an increased toughness on asylum seekers who commit crimes.Sobotka, of the conservative Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP), said that the government should even consider stripping asylum seekers of their claims if they commit crimes
A minister of the conservative Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP),he said the government should even consider stripping asylum seekers of their claims if they commit crimes reports Die Presse.
Speaking to Austrian media the Interior Minister said, “The question is whether someone who is violating the law automatically loses the status of asylum in a final conviction. For me that would be a conceivable measure, it is necessary to consider it.” When asked by the press what kind of crimes would qualify for the loss of asylum status Sobotka answered, “There must be proportionality.If anyone desires asylum and he has a final conviction, it’s clear to me that we have to stop the asylum procedure.” Sobotka added that such a law would apply to those in the process of seeking asylum as well as those who had already been approved.
“If anyone desires asylum and he has a final conviction, it’s clear to me that we have to stop the asylum procedure.” Sobotka added that such a law would apply to those in the process of seeking asylum as well as those who had already been approved.
Interior Minister Sobotka joins with his ÖVP colleague and Austrian foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz in the new harder line toward illegal migrants and asylum seekers who commit crimes. Kurz in particular has been in the forefront of calling for more planning for future waves of migrants.
He stirred controversy in Europe after suggesting that migrants could be processed on Greek islands in the same way as Australia processes asylum seekers. “Whoever boards a boat and tries to enter Europe illegally has ruined his chances of gaining asylum in Europe and will be sent back,” he said.
The announcement of Sobotka was met with criticism from the pro-migrant Green Party. Spokeswoman for the Greens Alev Korun said that the tightening of the rules wouldn’t make any difference and that the suggestion was, “neither reasonable nor helpful.” Former Green party leader and present Presidential candidate Alexander Van der Bellen said earlier this year that migrants were “an opportunity” for Austria and soundly rejected Kurz and Sobotka’s ideas.
Van der Bellen will face off against anti-mass migration Freedom Party (FPÖ) candidate Norbert Hofer once again on October 2nd after the results of the last election in May were annulled. Hofer’s party are supportive of the tougher measures with leader Heinz-Christian Strache expressing that he was glad the ÖVP had started to emulate the positions of the FPÖ.