Germany’s far-left government pushes amnesty for 100,000 illegal immigrants

Many of the migrants who entered Germany during the 2015/16 migrant crisis would be eligible for permanent residency under a new scheme from Germany's far left government. (AP Photo/Darko Bandic, file)
By John Cody
5 Min Read

Germany’s left-wing government is looking to pass large-scale amnesty for tens of thousands of illegal immigrants, with the move seen as a major prong in the left’s efforts to ramp up mass immigration in the coming years.

German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser is currently preparing a text to relax the country’s immigration laws, which will result in the government granting a residence permit for approximately 100,000 migrants.

The plan has been sharply criticized by the Alternative for Germany (AfD) and the Christian Democratic Union (CDU).

“The federal minister of the interior’s plans to allow a permanent right to stay for only tolerated people creates a massive incentive for unauthorized migration to Germany,” stated Alexander Throm, the domestic policy spokesman for the CDU/CSU faction in the Bundestag.

Nancy Faeser
German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser is drawing up plans for mass amnesty that may serve as another factor fueling illegal immigration into the country. (AP Photo/ Maya Alleruzzo)

“But if a rejected application for asylum also leads to being allowed to stay legally in Germany permanently, then an asylum procedure would be largely pointless,” Throm warned, who said Germany is now treading a dangerous and odd path within the EU.

The plan would allow foreigners to stay in Germany permanently if they have been in the country for more than five years and are deemed to be well integrated, according to Faeser, who said that as a first step, these migrants would receive a one-year right to residence. The government announced their mass amnesty plan right around the same time an Armenian immigrant, who presumably was deemed well integrated enough to receive German citizenship, plowed his vehicle into a group of schoolchildren in Berlin, putting 12 of them in the hospital and killing one teacher.

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The radical scheme is raising fears that Germany will become an even more attractive location for immigration at a time when the country is already spending tens of billions on social benefits and integration for its migrant population. The elevated spending has also contributed to inflation in the country and placed a major burden on state budgets, especially in relation to health care, education, and housing.

Deportations of criminal migrants remains a serious problem, and government statistics released just last month show that the vast majority of migrants who arrived in the 2016 migrant wave are either unemployed or no longer looking for work. Half of those who did manage to find employment are in low-skilled menial jobs, many of which still entitle them to Hartz IV social benefits.

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For many critics, granting amnesty is also a major breach of rule of law in the country.

“It is serious that illegal immigration is consciously encouraged by the state. According to the government, there should be a state-approved smuggling route from illegal entry all the way to securing the right of residence,” said Gottfried Curio, the AfD domestic policy spokesman for the parliamentary group.

The government has long signaled it plans to drastically increase immigration numbers to Germany and relax immigration rules, despite serious integration problems and growing migrant crime.

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Curio also pointed to Faeser’s calls to start a deportation push at the same time as the amnesty for “well integrated” migrants. According to Curio, this is a ploy to reassure citizens. “In the past, a deportation slump followed every announcement of a deportation offensive,” said Curio.

His claim is supported by data, with Germany notorious for failing to deport asylum seekers even after they have been convicted for committing serious crimes. Many of those who are deported also often find their way back to Germany.

An official query from the AfD recently showed that more deportations fail in Germany than succeed. According to the announcement by the traffic light coalition parties, all asylum seekers who have committed criminal offenses or have made false statements in the asylum procedure are to be excluded from the potential amnesty. At the end of 2021, around 250,000 tolerated foreigners were staying in the country, and more than 100,000 have lived in the country for more than five years.

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