Migration: First migration package: many tolerated are allowed to stay

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    The traffic light coalition has announced a new beginning in migration policy. A first draft is now available. However, it does not yet include all projects relating to residence rights and citizenship.

    The Federal Ministry of the Interior has submitted a proposal for the coalition’s planned introduction of a so-called opportunity residence permit.

    The draft, which was sent to states and associations on Tuesday for comments, provides for an initial one-year right of residence for those with a tolerated stay, including an extension of detention pending deportation for certain criminals from three months to a maximum of six months.

    “We want to get the first migration package off the ground before the summer break,” said Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD) in Berlin. The right of residence is intended for those who, as of January 1, 2022, “have been living in Germany for five years or more and are well integrated, but only have a Duldung – we want to give them a chance to also get a solid residence permit here achieve,” the minister continued. According to the Interior Ministry, 242,029 tolerated foreigners were staying in Germany on December 31, 2021, 104,444 of them for more than five years.

    Several prerequisites

    According to the draft, only those who “are committed to the free democratic basic order of the Federal Republic of Germany and to the legal and social order of the Federal Republic of Germany” and who have not been convicted of a significant intentional criminal offense should benefit from the regulation. Another requirement for those who want to benefit from the regulation is that “their deportation is not suspended because of their own false statements or because of their deception about their identity or nationality”. Pro Asyl objected: “In practice, we regularly see how difficult it is for many refugees to clarify their identity and obtain a passport.”

    Green migration expert Filiz Polat said it was important for her party to “finally abolish the degrading chain toleration and to open up perspectives for people”. The previous regulations have come to nothing: “People who have been tolerated cannot usually meet the necessary requirements because they are mostly banned from working or had no access to integration courses.”

    The draft also contains simplifications for family reunification for foreigners who come to Germany as skilled workers. In addition, more people should have access to integration and professional language courses.

    Germany should become more attractive

    “Germany is an immigration country and as such must also become much more attractive,” said the parliamentary director of the FDP parliamentary group, Stephan Thomae. Therefore, the requirements for immigration with an employment contract would have to be simplified in the next migration package. With the introduction of an “opportunity card based on a point system”, a new way for immigration to look for a job should be created.

    “With this draft law, the traffic light is starting its new beginning in migration and integration policy,” said the domestic policy spokesman for the SPD parliamentary group, Sebastian Hartmann. He announced: “We are still looking at the draft in detail in the parliamentary process, so that the practice here actually receives clear and uncomplicated regulations and the people affected finally have a perspective for a safe life in Germany.”

    Faeser emphasized that she wanted to bring further reform projects in the area of ​​migration agreed in the coalition agreement into the cabinet this autumn or winter. Among other things, the coalition agreement also provides for facilitation of naturalization.

    The AfD domestic politician Gottfried Curio said: “The bottom line is that this type of uncontrolled immigration will prove to be a strong net negative business for the Germans”.

    The draft from the Ministry of the Interior states: “The elements of humanity and order are mutually dependent.” The left-wing interior expert Clara Bünger takes issue with this. She said that the choice of words by Faeser’s predecessor Horst Seehofer (CSU) was unhesitatingly followed, and that this did not speak for the announced paradigm shift in migration policy.