German Interior Minister Thomas De Maizière has announced intentions to create deportation centres near major airports to speed up the sluggish German deportation system.
As part of a new strategy to strengthen the security services in the wake of the Berlin Christmas market terror attack, the German Interior ministry has given several policy proposals to the government. One of these measures will be a much bigger role for the Federal government when it comes to the deportation of failed asylum seekers and criminals and would see the construction of federal centres for deportation, Der Spiegel reports.
The current deportation system relies heavily on cooperation from the various regional governments across the country and as a result, some governments, like the left-wing red-red-green coalition of Berlin, have come into conflict with federal deportation policies.
The new centres, called “Bundesausreisezentren”(federal exit centres), could be managed directly by the federal government and federal police coordinating with the Federal Agency for Refugees and Migration (BAMF). The building of the centres would, in theory, streamline the process which is currently plagued by issues.
Mr. De Maizière has also announced proposals to totally overhaul the German security apparatus and put more power in the hands of federal forces, rather than rely on regional governments. The federal police (Bundespolizei) must be given more “investigative authority,” according to the interior minister, to be able to determine which asylum seekers need to leave the country.
The Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA), which investigates international terrorism and organised crime, will also see an increase in the scope of its power. De Maizière has said that the focus of the agency is “too narrow” and said, “we need uniform rules and better coordination in the control of vulnerable people.”
One of the main problems faced by the German government when it comes to deportations has been the classification of certain countries as unsafe, despite the fact that many of the countries deemed unsafe are not in a state of conflict. De Maizière would like to change the legal requirements and reduce the criteria on unsafe countries. He also said that he would like to see migrant agreements made with the North African countries that are similar to the agreement between Turkey and the European Union.
The proposals have come after the minister has taken a stronger stance on deportation over the past few months. As early as November, he announced that migrants arriving from Africa via boats should be sent back to Africa rather than taken to Italy to discourage new voyages and that some migrants should even be sent back to Greece.