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Group Makes Case For Migrants Facing Deportation In Germany

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – A coalition of aid organisations have harped on the need to give fair hearing to migrants taken into custody in Germany and awaiting deportation.

In a position paper jointly published and signed by Pro Asyl, Amnesty International Germany, Caritas and Diakonie, among many others, the group said any migrant taken into custody in Germany pending deportation should have the right to a lawyer paid for by the state.

“Those detained are not sufficiently familiar with the legal system to be able to effectively defend themselves against the order of detention pending deportation”, the group said.

According to them, the exact circumstances and legal situation of the cases are usually very complex, adding that the minors are often illegally detained due to incorrect age assessments.

“Another obstacle is the often considerable language barrier. Without legal representation, the persons concerned are helplessly exposed to a procedure which they do not understand and therefore cannot influence, but as a result of which they lose their freedom,” the organizations further explained.

Under current law, detention pending deportation is inadmissible “if the purpose of the detention can be achieved by a milder means”.

Meanwhile the centre-left government under Chancellor Olaf Scholz is planning to change the legal landscape with a bill for a so-called “right of opportunity to stay”.

This is intended to give migrants who are well integrated and but have overstayed their legal right to stay the prospect of remaining in Germany legally in the longer term.

Part of this first migration package also extends the maximum period of detention pending deportation for accused criminals from three months to six months.

This is intended to give the authorities more time to prepare for deportation, such as clarifying identity, obtaining missing papers and organizing a seat on an aircraft.

Notably, a total of 6,198 third-country nationals were deported from Germany in the first half of 2022, with the deported people being sent to North Macedonia, Albania and Georgia.

According to the Funke Media Group newspaper, about 230 people were deported to Turkey, and another 1,826 deportations were passed on to the other European Member States in accordance with the Dublin Regulation, which regulates for these people to be sent back to the first EU country they applied for asylum.

Last year, 11,982 deportations were recorded in Germany, and so far this year, 51 per cent of these levels have been met as 6,198 deportations have been recorded between January and June. In addition, in 2020, 10,800 people have been deported from Germany, down from 22,100 deported in 2019.
On the other hand, the German news magazine Der Spiegel has revealed that almost 300,000 people had to leave Germany in July.

In addition, close to €600,000 was spent on ‘mini charter flights’ serving for the deportation of up to four persons. The left-wing faction has criticised the practice of these mini charter flights, which refer to flights with up to four persons obliged to leave.

Data from the government shows that 35 people were deported during the first half of the year using mini charter flights, with some cases, the destination being an EU country. In addition, about 167 police officers were serving on duty during these deportation flights.

The number of deported people is lower than in 2019 when 48 persons were deported from Germany on 21 mini charter flights, with the total flight costs being €1.35 million, as the interior ministry revealed. On the other hand, during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, 14 flights with a total of 39 persons were operated.

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