Germany plans to fast-track deportations of failed asylum-seekers
Years after Germany accepted nearly 900,000 refugees in 2015 alone as part of Merkel’s open-door policy, the country continues to work on the practical aspects of sorting and integrating or expelling asylum-seekers and other immigrants. Most recently, the German Interior Ministry announced plans to accelerate the deportation of failed asylum seekers, as well as those who are supposed to have their requests processed in other EU countries. Among the measures within the plans include a chip system to confirm that asylum-seekers have picked up their mail and received a deportation order (systems already in place in two German states). Another includes “no-name bookings” that would allow another deportee to take the seat of another deportee who did not go to the airport. The measures would also reportedly provide local authorities with the legal backing needed to arrest and hold failed asylum-seekers who are considered to be potential flight-risks. Part of the measures address the system failures that gained attention in the aftermath of the 2016 Christmas market attack in Berlin where a failed-asylum seeker and known criminal eluded authorities prior to the attack. The measures will certainly prove controversial at a time when the German political spectrum is strongly divided between a far-right fringe and mainstream politics.