Opposition attacks Bavarian refugee deportation plan

The ruling Christian Social Union proposes to assemble arrivals on the border

Refugees who arrived in Germany by crossing the nearby Austrian border  at the X-Point Halle initial registration center of the German federal police  near Passau, Bavaria, Germany. Photograph: Joerg Koch/Getty Images

Refugees who arrived in Germany by crossing the nearby Austrian border at the X-Point Halle initial registration center of the German federal police near Passau, Bavaria, Germany. Photograph: Joerg Koch/Getty Images

 

Bavarian’s conservative state government has come under fire for plans to erect deportation camps on its borders for refugees from Balkan states.

Opposition parties and human rights organisations have attacked plans by Bavaria’s ruling Christian Social Union (CSU) to assemble arrivals from southwest Europe on the border and expedite their asylum applications.

But CSU politicians have defended their proposal, gaining support from Berlin’s federal interior minister and other state governments.

Bavarian state premier Horst Seehofer defended the proposal, saying it would focus resources on those most in need. He said the asylum system had “reached the limits of its logistical, personnel, and financial capacity”.

Last week, Germany’s police union said the spike in arrivals – 45,000 so far this year – has left police unable to process all cases, leaving many asylum seekers to continue travelling north unregistered.

Two routes

Germany

Mr Seehofer said most of these would be deported anyway because they come from countries classified as “safe origin” by German law, including Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. In addition to applicants from such countries the Bavarian government wants to fast-track asylum applicants from Albania, Kosovo and Montenegro and others classified as having “low likelihood of remaining”.

In its proposal the Munich government said police would be told to bring such people straight to the camps, where a medical check and asylum application would take place within three days. Within two weeks, the plan said, the asylum hearing, decision and notification would be completed.

Sweeping judgment

Pro AsylMarei Pelzer

Germany’s opposition left and Green parties were similarly critical, saying they paid little heed to the country’s problematic past.

“We Germans have a particular responsibility because, in the Third Reich, Roma were persecuted, deported and murdered,” said Green Party co- leader Simone Peter. “It is a case of historical amnesia if the government doesn’t take this into account in their refugee policy.”

But the proposal has received high-profile backing from the federal government in Berlin, including from the interior minister and the federal migration representative.