Thuringia’s migration ministry has announced that from June 1, illegal immigrants who fall victim to “right-wing violence” in the German state will be given residence permits on “humanitarian” grounds.
“The number of violent crimes remains worryingly high, and victims are often people with a migrant background,” said Thuringia justice, migration, and consumer protection minister Dieter Lauinger.
In a statement on the measure, the Green minister explained: “We consider it necessary [that we should] improve the situation for those affected [by violent crime in Germany], by granting residence on a human rights basis.”
According to a press release, the new rules will apply to foreigners who “are without residence rights and who have been victim to a serious act of violent crime with significant after-effects”.
“Under the decree, crimes which would qualify include, for example, breach of the peace, sexual assaults, and homicides,” the ministry explained, before adding that “there must be evidence that the victim was attacked on grounds of nationality, ethnicity, skin colour or religious affiliation”, and noting that the regulations will not apply if an incident is found to have been “simulated or provoked”.
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“The state government is committed to its responsibility towards victims of racist and right-wing acts,” said integration, migration, and refugee commissioner, Mirjam Kruppa.
“This decree sends out an important message to the people seeking safety with us in that it shows that we aim to provide security and protection to people affected by violence.”
She added: “It is good that Thuringia is taking this step because it complements an active policy of integration that supports encounters [between native Germans and aliens] and thus also helps to reduce prejudice.”
The measure will see victims granted residency rights for a period of six months, initially, in order to facilitate the investigation of the reported crime, according to Lauinger.
“Creating a stable situation for the victims, with regards to their residency status, is also important from the perspective of criminal proceedings,” he said.
“The investigation and prosecution of all forms of right-wing extremist or racist violence should not be hampered by the possible deportation of a witness.”
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The decree came under fire from the populist, anti-mass migration Alternative for Germany (AfD) parliamentary group, which accused Thuringia’s red-red-green state government of acting deliberately to undermine federal migration laws.
“There is no urgent humanitarian ‘right to stay’ just because someone has actually or allegedly fallen victim a crime,” said AFD migration policy spokesman Stefan Möller, who pointed out that federal law already provides foreign victims of crime a temporary stay where prosecutors consider it necessary.
Similar measures were considered by lawmakers in Brandenburg in 2016 when the state’s parliament requested the government “make sure that victims of right [wing] violent crimes are offered the possibility of being issued with residence permits and tolerances”.
As Breitbart London reported last year, politicians hoped the move could deter people from making xenophobic attacks on asylum seekers by emphasising that such actions would only result in more being permitted to stay.