Germany: Draft Law Permits Extensive Detention

A proposed law could increase Germany’s power to detain asylum seekers.

At the end of June 2015, The German House of Representatives voted on a draft law of the Ministry of Interior to redefine the right to stay and termination of residence permits.

According to the current Dublin III Regulation, one can only apply for asylum in the country of first entry in the European Union. If the draft law is approved, where the asylum seeker has traveled on to Germany after having initially arrived in another EU country, he will be detained immediately upon arrival in Germany.

Proposed grounds for detention would include:

  • false or incomplete information given to the authorities
  • absence of travel documents
  • having used assistance of smugglers or evading border controls on entry

During summer last year, the Federal Court ruled detention of Dublin cases unlawful and banned such practices. The draft law is attempting to ‘correct’ this ruling.

Pro Asyl , the Bavarian Refugee Council, UNHCR and IDC member JRS Germany have publicly criticized this latest move by the Federal Government. They reiterated concerns that immigration detention can have a severe negative impact on the well-being of those who are detained.

Father Hillebrandt from JRS Berlin stated that the proposed changes would be a step back from the positive developments which resulted from last summer’s Federal Court case. In addition, in recent years, the number of asylum seekers in immigration detention centres in Germany has decreased.

Source: Spiegel Online  article entitled Hardening of the asylum law – the Federal Government wants to detain more refugees Verschärfung des Asylrechts – Bundesregierung will mehr Flüchtlinge einsperren