Germany adopts draft law to speed up deportation of non-German citizens

The German governmental cabinet adopted a draft law for new rules for the deportation of foreigners from Germany on Wednesday.

The so-called “Controlled Return Act” is seeking that deportations of persons without German citizenship can be carried out more quickly and efficiently in the future.

“Anyone who is legally obliged to leave the country” would also have to leave Germany again,” said Germany’s Interior Minister Horst Seehofer at the presentation of the draft law on Wednesday.

“If this legal obligation is not complied with, the government must enforce it,” added Seehofer.

The draft law stipulates that foreigners in Germany who “do not participate in the clarification of their own identity” would have to expect sanctions with regards to their residence permit.

In addition, deportation imprisonment of non-German citizens who are already required to leave Germany is to be made easier. The draft law also covers faster deportation of non-German citizens with a criminal record.

German refugee protection organizations in Germany have criticized the draft bill of systematically dismantling the rights of fugitives.

“The law is aiming at deprivation of rights, more imprisonment” and was pushing out non-German citizens by withdrawing social benefits, criticized Guenther Burkhardt, managing director of the refugee protection association Pro Asyl.

Philipp Amthor (CDU), member of the German parliamentary committee on internal affairs, on the other hand, supported the draft law, saying that the German government is focusing on “harshness” in the new deportation bill.

The German population would not understand that the government does not “consistently” deal with foreigners who are obliged to leave the country, said the CDU politician Amthor in an interview with the German public broadcaster ARD on Monday.

In 2018, the German government recorded about 26,000 deportations of foreigners from Germany. During the same year, however, around 31,000 deportations failed, often because the affected people could not be located, were ill or lacked the necessary documents for deportation.

The draft law is still to be approved by the German parliament and is scheduled to be finally adopted by the German government by the end of June this year.