The German public is growing resentful that migrants have more rights to benefits than Germans who have worked their whole life, said German Interior Minister for the state of Saaraland Klaus Bouillon in a revealing interview with Die Welt.
“There is great discontent among the population because everyone who arrives here immediately has many or even more rights along with rights to benefits and medical care than someone who has worked here for their entire life,” said Bouillon.
In regard to taking in more migrants, Boullion believes Germans have less and less tolerance for new arrivals. Germany has already recorded a record number of foreigners in 2019 and some German state parliaments have voted to stop accepting more migrants in a sign of growing public weariness over the massive demographic changes taking place in the country.
“The willingness and acceptance in the country to accept people has decreased. We probably would not be able to activate enough volunteers anymore. In addition, our absorption capacity is a big problem,” the interior minister said.
Boullion, a member of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), says that the frustrations over the migrant situation in the country have made their way into everyday conversations as well.
“There is great resentment and frustration, which I hear in conversation every day. Basic amounts of benefits are established by law. Even if someone throws away their passport and does not cooperate with the authorities, their benefits can be reduced only minimally,” he noted.
Polling seems to support Boullion’s viewpoint as well. For example, last year, a poll of 27 European Union countries found that in Germany, 48 percent of Germans said they were opposed to the country taking in more non-EU migrants while 44 percent continued to support this type of migration.
‘We have people who come back four, five, six times after we have deported them‘
The city of Lebach is one of the main destinations for migrants in Saarland, which is located in the Western part of Germany near the French border. Boullion says that over time the countries of origin for migrants have changed, and many of them are no longer entitled to protection status or have already registered as refugees in other European countries, which would make them ineligible to stay in Germany.
“In addition, half of those arriving at the moment have lost their passport or suddenly forgotten their name and country of origin,” said Boullion.
The interior minister also said that the reception center in Lebach continuously fills up because 50 percent of deportations fail. He noted cases when families are set for deportations, that suddenly the child that is meant to be deported with them can no longer be found. In many cases, those who are deported simply come back.
“We have people who come back four, five, six times after we have deported them to the EU country where they were first registered,” he said. “You simply come back from Belgium with the FlixBus. Then the whole process starts all over again. At least 100,000 people in Germany are finally rejected, but we simply cannot get them back to their home countries.”
Boullion believes that certain loopholes can be quickly closed in the asylum law. Currently, family members can apply for asylum one after another upon being rejected. For example, a mother can first apply, and if she is rejected, the father can then apply, and then a child, and so on. Under the process, each family member’s case can take months until the next one is started anew.
In the meantime, the whole migrant family can remain in Germany. The interior minister believes that an application should be made for the whole family at once to hasten the process.
In Germany, the Green Party is pushing to dissolve the reception center in Lebach and to disperse the migrants across the state of Saarland to individual municipalities. Boullion argues that it is not only against the law, but that Lebach offers a kindergarten, doctors, integration courses, violence prevention, and schools all in one place. Authorities can also process registrations far faster in one centralized location.
The interior minister accused the Greens of having a lot of “dreamers” in their party who want to invite more migrants to Germany. Many top Green Party politicians have advocated for Germany to accept more migrants, including during the recent migrant crisis this year when Turkey opened its border to the Europe resulting in thousands of migrants trying to enter through Greece.
There are also currently those in the CDU party who are advocating migrant quotas, such as Prime Minister of Schleswig-Holstein Daniel Günther. Boullion says that such proposals will only encourage more migration to Germany.