The anti-migration Alternative for Germany (AfD) Party has called on the Saxony state legislature in Germany to review the foreign bank accounts of asylum seekers, reasoning that if a migrant is able to hand thousands of euros to pay people smugglers to reach Germany, they should pay their own way once in Germany.
“Germany must start to use foreign assets to pay for asylum seekers’ needs,” AfD state parliamentarian Carsten Hütter said, Junge Freiheit has reported.
“Those who can afford to pay €10,000 to smugglers – and migrants who also have the latest smartphone and designer clothes of course can – we suspect are able to pay for their own living in Germany itself.”
Hütter has already asked the Saxony government to give an appraisal of the economic situation of asylum seekers within its system, but says that, from the answers given so far, it is clear that the government has no idea what financial assets the migrants had available to them. Nor did it know whether the migrants had had any personal valuables confiscated by the authorities upon their arrival.
Denmark sparked fierce criticism earlier this year when it passed a new law giving itself the right to search unauthorised migrants and seize valuable belongings to help cover the expense of caring for the new arrivals. Some critics even likened the policy to that of the Nazis, who seized Jewish assets.
But the Danish Integration Minister pointed out that Danes with more than 10,000 kroner (around €1,340) to their name in assets cannot access unemployment benefits, but must instead sell their goods.
A similar policy is already in place in Germany. Recognised asylum seekers and those with applications still pending are currently not eligible for state benefits if they have private assets, in line with German citizens.
But whereas the local authorities will do a thorough audit of citizens’ finances to means test them for benefits, even going so far as to inspect their homes the same does not apply to asylum seekers. Instead, the migrants are able to access accounts in their home country with the German government having no way of knowing what their financial situation is.
Hütter called the disparity “a scandalous inequality between German and foreign benefit recipients.”
Social harmony in Germany is already being threatened by “massive immigration of unskilled migrants,” he said, adding that the majority of them have not found work. “If it now turns out that these migrants are being bankrolled with tax money even though they possess independent wealth, our social system will be in trouble,” he concluded.