More than half of asylum seekers in Germany aren’t in EU databases. Here’s why that’s such a big problem.

Germany lacks both the will and the means to deport illegal migrants, and part of it has to do with the EU’s poorly maintained Eurodac database

editor: REMIX NEWS
author: John Cody
A officer of German Federal Police checks a van during a search for immigrants at the border crossing from Poland into Germany in Frankfurt an der Oder, Germany, Thursday, Oct. 28, 2021. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

Germany is unable to return tens of thousands of illegal migrants to the EU countries they first entered due to the fact that there is no record of them in the EU databases, including information on which country they first entered upon their arrival in the EU.

In the first eleven months of last year, more than 35,000 asylum seekers in Germany were missing from a total of almost 75,000 in the Eurodac database, a system to identify asylum seekers, according to data from the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees. It is mandatory for all countries to enter any asylum seeker into the Eurodac database that arrives on their territory without a visa. The EU database is in place to provide an international comparison of fingerprints of asylum seekers, with the aim of preventing multiple applications in different countries.

Federal police officers guard an arrested migrant at a police station on the German border town with Poland in Frankfurt an der Oder, Germany, Thursday, Oct. 28, 2021. German federal police said more than 4,300 people illegally crossed the border from Poland this year, with most of the migrants coming from Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Iran, German news agency dpa reported. .(AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

The fact that so many tens of thousands are missing from the database presents a serious challenge for Germany, reports the German news outlet Die Welt. According to the Dublin Regulation, the first country that a migrant enters in the EU is then responsible for taking in that migrant.

Given that Germany does not form the external border of the EU and that many migrants enter the country illegally, and a different EU member should be responsible for that particular applicant.

This failure to register illegal migrants also means that Germany cannot return many asylum seekers to other EU countries. That shows “the dysfunctionality of the Dublin system drastically,” criticized the domestic policy member of the Bundestag, Christian Democrat Alexander Throm (CDU). The registration and return of such asylum seekers are basic requirements for an EU asylum system. Throm argues that the traffic light coalition must consistently insist on compliance with the Eurodac rules from other countries that are failing to register their asylum seekers.

Germany already struggles to return illegal migrants slated for deportation

The German authorities had to look after thousands of asylum seekers last autumn, even though they had already been granted protection in Greece. According to the orders of two higher administrative courts, Germany is currently not allowed to send migrants back to Greece.

Migrants take part in a rally as the banner reads in German “Germany Please Help Us” near Mytilene town, on the northeastern island of Lesbos, Greece, Friday, Sept. 11, 2020. Thousands of protesting refugees and migrants left homeless on the Greek island of Lesbos after fires destroyed the notoriously overcrowded Moria camp have gathered on a road leading to the island’s main town, demanding to be allowed to leave. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)

Despite claims about Eurodac, the majority of the problem lies with Germany itself, as Germany has shown little interest in enforcing deportation orders even for migrants who theoretically could be returned home.

At the same time, many migrants who are deported from Germany come back multiple times with little or no consequences. EU-wide, it remains a serious problem, with fewer than 40 percent of migrants given deportation orders actually be forced to leave the continent.

The Higher Administrative Court for North Rhine-Westphalia justified restricting deportations to Greece at the beginning of the last year by stating that asylum seekers in the EU country face the risk of inhuman and degrading treatment. The judges in Lower Saxony gave a similar ruling, according to which the most elementary needs such as accommodation, food, and sanitary facilities could not be satisfied in Greece.

The number of foreigners in Germany who should actually be expelled has also risen in recent years. As of Jun. 30, 2021, more than 317,000 people with an expulsion order were recorded in the central foreigner register. However, more than 31,300 of them were still in the country.

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