300,000 people who are obliged to leave the country: Friedrich Merz insists on more deportations

300,000 people obliged to leave the country
Friedrich Merz insists on more deportations

Before the traffic light coalition talks about more immigration, opposition leader Friedrich Merz wants to speed up the deportation of rejected asylum seekers – because it’s going slowly. “Something has to change,” says the CDU leader. But the problems are well known.

In the debate about more immigration of foreign skilled workers to Germany, CDU leader Friedrich Merz insists on bringing more rejected asylum seekers out of the country at the same time. There are currently around 300,000 people in Germany who are obliged to leave the country, he told the “Rheinische Post”. “The federal government has promised the citizens a repatriation offensive. So far, there hasn’t been one.”

Returns, i.e. mostly deportations, often fail due to practical obstacles, such as missing identity papers. In many cases, there is also a lack of cooperation between the countries of origin or there is a ban on deportations – for example in Syria or Afghanistan. In 2021, almost 165,000 asylum seekers were registered and 11,982 people were deported. Regarding the sluggish return of migrants, Merz said: “Something has to change.”

The population’s acceptance of immigrants, “which we need,” will only be maintained if both are done: targeted immigration into the labor market and the repatriation of those who have no prospects in Germany. Germany has long been an immigration country, “and we need a lot of people who want to work with us,” said the Union faction leader. “There is a particular demand for skilled workers, from research to nursing.”

The right of residence planned by the traffic light coalition is intended to offer prospects to well-integrated foreigners who have been living in Germany for several years without a secure status. The previous practice of “chain tolerance” is to be ended.

Anyone who has lived in the country for five years as of October 31, 2022 and has not committed a crime should be given 18 months to meet the requirements for long-term residence – this includes knowledge of German and securing their own livelihood. The federal government also wants to lower the legal hurdles for naturalization and actively promote German citizenship among foreigners who have been living in Germany for a longer period of time.

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