Migration: Only a few naturalization applications rejected due to extremism

Migration: Only a few naturalization applications rejected due to extremism

How often is an application for naturalization rejected because the Office for the Protection of the Constitution has concerns? There is no nationwide overview. However, there are at least a few dozen cases per year.

Before a foreigner can be naturalized in Germany, an inquiry is made to the Office for the Protection of the Constitution. However, in most federal states, there are no statistics on how often an application for naturalization is rejected because of indications of extremist tendencies, as a survey of the state interior ministries by the German Press Agency shows. In the other states, the number of cases is relatively low.

Situation in the countries

According to the Interior Ministry, there are about five cases per year in Bremen in which naturalization is denied due to findings from the domestic secret service. So far this year, two applications have been rejected for this reason, it said.

According to information from the Ministry of the Interior in Erfurt, the naturalization authorities in Thuringia reject an average of a maximum of three applicants per year for naturalization who have come to the attention of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution. Measured against the total number of naturalizations – in 2023 there were 1,605 in the Free State – “the number of cases in Thuringia is therefore in the per mille range,” said a spokesman.

In Hamburg, a total of 15 naturalizations were not carried out over the past five years due to concerns raised by the State Office for the Protection of the Constitution, as the Interior Ministry recently announced in response to a request from the CDU. In addition, there are cases in which a foreigner about whom the Office for the Protection of the Constitution has information has withdrawn his application on the advice of the naturalization authority.

Several dozen cases per year in the north

In Schleswig-Holstein, at least statistics are kept on how often security-relevant findings are made in naturalization procedures. According to the report of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, links to extremist activities were found in 27 people seeking naturalization in 2020, and in 2021, this affected 71 cases.

For subsequent years, the statistics no longer differentiated between inquiries related to the right of residence or naturalization. However, the number of cases in which “procedurally relevant findings” were communicated was lower overall than in 2021. It was 44 cases in 2022 and 37 in 2023.

Multi-stage process in the southwest

In the majority of federal states, the naturalization authority makes inquiries to the Office for the Protection of the Constitution in each individual case, usually by post. Only in a few states, including Hesse, Baden-Württemberg and North Rhine-Westphalia, is there an interface for data exchange for this request.

The automated process has been in operation in Berlin since the beginning of this year. According to the Senate’s Interior Department, 229 naturalization applications were rejected in the capital last year. However, the authority was unable to provide any information on the reasons for the rejection.

In a request to the former red-green federal government, interior politicians from the Union – which was also in opposition at the time – had already complained that the states were not obliged to collect the relevant data. One of the MPs, Thomas Strobl (CDU), is now the Interior Minister of Baden-Württemberg.

According to its own information, the Ministry of the Interior is always involved “when the security authorities inform a naturalization case that there are indications of anti-constitutional or extremist activities on the part of a person to be naturalized.”

The ministry then arranges a so-called naturalization interview, which is conducted by employees of the naturalization authorities, a spokesman in Stuttgart said. The verbatim transcript, which is prepared after the interview and must be signed by the applicant, is then sent to the Ministry of the Interior along with a report from the naturalization authorities with an assessment by the regional council.

In these cases, naturalization will only take place if the ministry, after a thorough examination, comes to the conclusion “that the person to be naturalized was able to sufficiently exonerate himself in the interview or has expressly distanced himself from anti-constitutional or extremist activities or naturalization cannot be refused in court due to a lack of sufficient evidence.”

Requirements for naturalization

The basic requirement for naturalization in Germany is that the applicant is committed to the free democratic basic order and does not pursue any efforts against it or against the security of the federal government or a state.

Source: Stern

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Latest Posts