Interior Minister Peter Beuth: “Federal government must ensure order and limit migration”

September 22, 2023

B-IMK: Union interior ministers demand order and limitation of migration from federal government

In view of the further increase in the number of arrivals in Germany, the interior ministers of the CDU/CSU demand that the federal government take sustainable measures to ensure order and limit migration. In the short term, the federal police should be tasked with border controls at particularly strained German internal borders. This was announced by Hesse’s Interior Minister Peter Beuth, spokesman for the Union-led interior ministries (B-spokesman for the Conference of Interior Ministers – IMK), after an exchange with the President of the German Association of Counties, Reinhard Sager, in Bad Homburg at the end of this year’s B-IMK.
“It is high time that the traffic lights recognize the realities and take action. The access happening makes immediate action necessary. It must no longer be just a matter of how more and more people can be accommodated in the municipalities. The federal government must now ensure order and limit migration. Only in this way can social acceptance for the care of people in need of protection continue to be guaranteed.

Unfortunately, the traffic lights are not making an effort to find European solutions, but are acting in isolation in the negotiations on a reform of the EU asylum system and are putting the brakes on solution-oriented proposals from other countries. In addition, the Federal Minister of the Interior is shirking her responsibility in this country as well and continues to prevent border controls in the currently particularly burdened border areas of Brandenburg and Saxony. The repeated cries for help from the federal states and local authorities go unheeded. Until an effective solution is implemented at EU level, the Union Ministers of the Interior call on the Federal Minister of the Interior to finally assign the Federal Police with border controls in the particularly stressed border areas of Brandenburg and Saxony and thus support the border controls of the state police forces. The clear message must be: We are declaring war on smuggling and limiting illegal migration to Europe and Germany. Only by limiting illegal migration can the municipalities be relieved of some of the pressure in accommodating new arrivals on a daily basis,” said Hesse’s Interior Minister Peter Beuth.

Development of entry figures

The number of unauthorized entries into Germany continues to rise. In July of this year alone, the Federal Police registered 10,714 unauthorized entrants (in July 2022, 6,941 were detected). In 2022 as a whole, 91,986 people entered Germany without permission. Within the first seven months of this year, there were already 56,052 (in the same period last year, 36,115). A total of 14,303 people entered Germany illegally via the German-Polish border between January and the end of July, an increase of around 144 percent compared with the same months in 2022. The number of unauthorized trips across the German-Czech border increased by almost 50 percent during this period, from 4,782 to 7,102. According to the EU border agency Frontex, the number of illegal entries into the EU was 42,700 in July, the highest since March 2016. According to the report, a total of about 176,000 people crossed the EU border without permission in the first half of this year – 13 percent more than in the same period last year. In Hesse, the numbers have also been rising since the spring: in July 2023, 204 more arrivals were recorded than in the previous month, with 1,959 people. This represents an increase of around 160 percent in arrivals to Hesse in July 2023 compared to July 2022.

“There is already a shortage of housing, childcare, and capacity in government agencies and schools in many communities. Municipalities are often at breaking point. Things cannot continue like this. The federal government, which alone can take effective measures to manage and limit migration, unfortunately continues to do nothing. It leaves the local communities alone with the mammoth task of accommodating refugees. The federal government must curb illegal migration into our country. The current influx of refugees and the developments in the federal states and municipalities make this urgently necessary. Anything else is negligent and endangers the social fabric in the cities and communities. Instead, the federal government is leaving the work to the counties and municipalities without clear funding commitments,” said Reinhard Sager, President of the German County Association.

B-IMK calls for order and limitation

The interior ministers of the CDU/CSU plead for more order and limitation of migration. In this regard, they identified deficits in their deliberations in Bad Homburg, defined priorities and addressed clear demands to the federal government.

  • Instead of providing further incentives for migration, the responsible Union ministers call on the federal government to manage and limit migration in order to reduce immigration. Because of its responsibilities, only the federal government can do this. The federal government is called upon to make full use of its possibilities in the area of cooperation at EU level and with third countries, as well as through its legislative competence in relevant areas of domestic and migration policy.
  • Announcements by the German government to intensify other border protection measures instead of stationary border controls have clearly not been successful. Especially at the borders to Poland and the Czech Republic, but also to Switzerland, the numbers have continued to rise considerably. The B-IMK rejects lowered barriers in principle, but effective measures must finally be taken by the Federal Police to effectively protect the borders, including through stationary border controls. This requires an appropriate notification procedure to the European Commission.
  • For a clearer coordination of the access process, the establishment of a migration commission consisting of representatives of the federal, state and local governments is called for. This should ensure that the challenges of migration can be strategically addressed at an early stage and jointly by all levels concerned.
  • The federal government should play a greater role in housing refugees by providing more federal real estate that can actually be used and other support measures, such as the complete assumption of housing costs for recognized refugees. Since only the federal government can take effective control measures at the European and international level, this also gives rise to its responsibility to provide financial support to the states. The announced federal funding totaling 3.75 billion euros for 2023 will not be sufficient. This compares with state spending of around 16 billion euros in the refugee sector. Accordingly, the federal government must fulfill its commitments as part of the negotiations on the return to the old 4-pillar system (flat rate per refugee, flat rate for refugee-related purposes, assumption of costs for so-called unaccompanied minor foreigners – UmA, accommodation costs after initial reception). This is essential so that the states and municipalities can plan financially for the coming year.
  • The B-IMK criticizes the German government for its actions in the reform of the Common European Asylum System (CEAS), in which Berlin has increasingly isolated itself and acted as a brake. A reform of the CEAS and also of the Schengen law is urgently needed. In this context, the B-IMK demands the implementation of the Dublin system from all member states. The border procedure proposed by the EU Commission is considered by the B-IMK as an important component of a functioning CEAS. In the negotiations with the European Parliament, no further compromises may be made on the compromise now reached by the Council of Interior Ministers.
    • The German government should also make a clear distinction between immigration for the purpose of taking up employment and asylum migration, which is lacking in the reform of the citizenship law, among other things.
  • The federal government is called upon to intensively examine the legal possibilities of refusing entry under Section 18 of the Asylum Act and to evaluate these precisely against the background of the Dublin procedure, which is not functioning very well. It must be possible for the Federal Police to turn back asylum seekers who enter the country from an EU member state.
    • The B-IMK calls on the Federal Government to examine the establishment of federal departure centers for persons who are obliged to leave the country directly at major German airports, which would be operated by the Federal Police. This would avoid the dispersal of refugees – especially those with no prospects of remaining; the coordination processes between foreigners authorities, the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) and the Federal Police would be shortened and the chances of success of a timely repatriation would increase. At the same time, it would be the first time that the federal government would be properly involved in the accommodation of persons obliged to leave the country.
      Improving the general framework, implementing the repatriation offensive
  • The federal government should not only conclude and enforce migration agreements or repatriation agreements, but also bring about dutiful cooperation by countries of origin or EU member states in repatriation matters. The Federal Government is urged to take more consistent action against countries of origin that do not cooperate sufficiently and to further define and improve the framework conditions for repatriation at the EU level. To this end, the federal government should also take more restrictive action against countries of origin, e.g. using the visa lever and exerting pressure on third countries to repatriate criminals and dangerous persons in particular.

In addition, the federal states are expected to provide more support in problem areas such as passport replacement and better interface management (e.g. greater centralization in Dublin enforcement).

  • As decided by the Conference of Interior Ministers in June 2023, the catalog of safe countries of origin is to be expanded, in particular to include Moldova, Georgia, Armenia, Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia and India. The federal government’s proposed designation of Georgia and Moldova as safe countries of origin is not sufficient. In principle, all countries of origin with a recognition rate of less than ten percent should be classified as safe.
  • The Union ministers also demand that the “repatriation offensive” announced in the coalition agreement of the parties forming the federal government finally be implemented. Support from the federal states for deportations has so far failed to materialize. The existing obstacles to deportation show that there is still no practical progress or improvement in this area. The repatriation of illegal residents, especially criminals and endangered persons, allows states, municipalities and volunteers to focus on supporting all those who are lawfully residing in the Federal Republic.

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