German cabinet approves tougher deportation rules

Berlin (dpa) – In order to reduce the number of failed deportations, the German cabinet on Wednesday approved a controversial bill toughening up the rules for expelling rejected asylum seekers. The “orderly return law” proposed by hardline Interior Minister Horst Seehofer should make it more difficult for foreigners who have to leave Germany to prevent their deportation. Among other things, it should also become easier to detain people for a short time ahead of their deportation. Significantly less money than before is to be spent on foreigners who are already recognized as refugees in another EU country. “Their services are limited to the return ticket, so to speak,” the deputry head of the conservative parliamentary group, Thorsten Frei, said on Wednesday in Berlin, adding that was a good thing.

For people for whose asylum application another EU country is responsible, according to the so-called Dublin rules, “performance reductions” are planned. They should receive less than the rules set out in the Asylum Seekers Benefits Act, according to the draft. Meanwhile Labour and Social Affairs Minister Hubertus Heil of the centre left Social Democrats (SDP) also brought forward plans for a reform of the Asylum Seekers Benefits Act. The cabinet approved Heil’s reforms, which will see single individuals and single parents receive in addition to benefits in kind 150 euros (170 dollars) per month instead of 135 euros. Those who live in one of the large initial reception centres or in shared accommodation are to receive only 136 euros. Asylum seekers looking for a job are also to be given access to German language courses earlier, even if their chances of being recognized as refugees are slim, the cabinet decided. The only exceptions are “tolerated persons with an unexplained identity” as they are generally prohibited from work.

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