When it comes to the so-called German pact on migration, there is initially radio silence between Olaf Scholz and the Union. The CDU and CSU see the ball in the Chancellor’s court and continue to criticize the course of the traffic lights.
The CDU and CSU are sticking to their criticism of the traffic light’s migration policy, but are still willing to talk about a joint approach with the federal government.
CDU leader Friedrich Merz demanded in Deutschlandfunk’s “Interview of the Week” that asylum procedures and refugees had to be separated from those who wanted to enter the job market. “So to believe that we can suddenly solve our labor market problem with the refugees is an illusion.”
The CDU leader was skeptical as to whether there would be a close alliance with Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) in the form of a German pact proposed by him on the issue of migration. “The door is not closed for us,” Merz also said. CSU regional group leader Alexander Dobrindt made similar comments.
Bamf accelerates asylum procedures
Meanwhile, the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (Bamf) says it has taken measures in coordination with the Federal Ministry of the Interior to speed up asylum procedures.
Merz criticized that the traffic light wanted to identify a small number of people from the large number of asylum seekers who were able to work, willing to work and could work in Germany. “That’s the wrong way.”
At the beginning of the month, the Federal Cabinet introduced easier access to the labor market for asylum seekers and foreigners who have a so-called tolerated status. In the summer, a regulation on the so-called lane change was introduced with the Skilled Immigration Act: Asylum seekers who entered the country before March 29, 2023 and have the prospect of a job should also be allowed to work. The measures are intended to promote integration and help resolve the labor shortage.
Merz said: “I have always said it. Even in my first political career, I always said that Germany is a country of immigration. However, for too long we have had unregulated immigration into the social systems instead of regulated immigration into the labor market.” He added that he did not believe that the way the coalition wanted to correct it now would succeed.
Merz: Germany pact falls far short of Union proposals
The CDU leader said that the so-called German Pact – a collaboration that Scholz had offered to the opposition and expressly to Merz at the beginning of September – should have been agreed upon in the Bundestag. “The Chancellor rejected that.” What was recently decided with the state prime ministers on migration as the lowest common denominator falls far short of the Union’s proposals.
After consultations with the federal states, the federal government declared that it wanted to examine asylum procedures outside Europe. Pure testing orders “cannot be done with us,” said the head of the CSU MPs in the Bundestag, Alexander Dobrindt, to the “Augsburger Allgemeine” (Saturday). Regarding possible further discussions with Scholz, he said that the ball was in the Chancellor’s court. “We remain prepared to deal with the current migration crisis together with the Chancellor.” However, the decisions must lead to a real change in asylum. Dobrindt warned that the AfD would gain further strength if the migration issue was not resolved.
The Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (Bamf) says it has now taken measures in coordination with the Interior Ministry to speed up asylum procedures. These are “well-considered and very specific measures that enable efficiency gains in processing without leading to any loss of safety,” said a spokesman for the authority on Saturday when asked.
Checking of mobile phones only in individual cases
Asylum seekers’ mobile phones are only checked on a case-by-case basis to determine nationality, for example if identification documents are not available. “Bild” had previously reported, citing an email from the Interior Ministry to the Bamf, that security checks should be reduced in order to speed up the procedures.
According to the authority, the asylum procedures take a total of 6.7 months on average. If rejected asylum seekers file complaints against the decision, the corresponding administrative court proceedings run on average for 22 months, according to Bamf.
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