Why does Germany take in refugees again and again?

During the refugee crisis in 2015 and 2016, over a million asylum seekers came to Germany. The sympathy at the beginning was great - how does it look now?

  • During the refugee crisis of 2015/16, 1.1 million asylum seekers came to Germany.
  • The sympathy was great, they were greeted with posters, among other things.
  • But what about five years later? A political scientist warns of a mistake in dealing with refugees

Berlin - The misery in the Crisis regions most of the world know Germans probably only from the screen. Five years ago hundreds of thousands of refugees suddenly stood at the door. The sympathy was great at the beginning. And today?

The positions are rock solid - at the "Refugees Welcome"Group as well as the opponents of the liberals Asylum policy. If you ask some of them, they list examples of Syrians who passed their Abitur with flying colors or Iraqis who opened their own business. The others point to a higher crime rate among immigrants and the many refugeeswho have no job to this day.

1.1 million asylum seekers admitted: disputes and fears

In 2015 and 2016, more than 1.1 million asylum seekers were admitted. “The year 2015 revealed a line of division in German society: on the one hand, those who are involved in refugee aid; on the other hand, the influx of so many people xenophobia evoked, rationally unfounded fears, "says Political scientist Herfried Münkler. "The pull towards the political center that we saw before came to an end."

The fundamental controversy is still not over. According to Matthias Jung from the Wahlen research group, however, the picture is stable: “We have had Refugee crisis relatively little change in mood, apart from occasional fluctuations in events such as Cologne's New Year's Eve. When asked whether Germany can cope with the number of refugees who have arrived, 60 percent agree, 40 say no. "

Asylum policy in Germany: bitterness and deep rifts

The bitterness with which the asylum policy is disputed can be traced back to the disputes in the Corona*-Crisis to compare. Here, too, the trenches often seem insurmountable. The 2015 pictures will not be forgotten: Refugees were greeted at Munich Central Station with applause and welcome posters. Many found it appropriate and good that Germany, from which so many people fled during the Nazi era, showed itself to be generous. Some were downright intoxicated with the praise with which the German "Welcoming culture" was celebrated internationally.

Germany accepts refugees: application chaos and lack of sleeping places

However, in the first few weeks there was partial disillusionment and perplexity on practical issues. How to cope with the registration of the many Asylum seekershow their accommodation? And what will become of those who evidently neither civil war nor political persecution, but the desire for a life of modest prosperity drove them to the Federal Republic?

The practical problems have been got under control, also thanks to the large one Engagements of those responsible in the municipalities, summarizes Reinhard Sager, President of the German District Association. However, the long-term challenges have by no means been overcome. Not just the high number of asylum seekers Germany “It was pushed to the limits of its ability to integrate” - also that many of the refugees came without them
could prepare. "A lack of knowledge of the German language, significant cultural differences, the lack or lack of recognition of educational qualifications - all circumstances that make integration more difficult in this country."

Asylum seekers in Germany: a mammoth task of integration

At the end of 2019, 363,000 people from Afghanistan, Eritrea, Iraq, Iran, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia and Syria were employed subject to social security contributions in Germany, including 55,000 trainees. Another 75,000 counts Federal agency for work among the marginally employed. However, this also includes immigrants who did not come as refugees, but instead
for example as students, spouses or migrant workers. According to preliminary data, the unemployment rate for these countries was 39.8 percent in May - much higher than for the population as a whole.

In addition, when it comes to migration, the principle sometimes gets in the way of pragmatism. It was only last year that the grand coalition passed a law on the immigration of skilled workers. Especially in CDU * and CSU * there is a fear that too much openness could be understood as a signal that everyone is welcome. That is why most migrants do not have access to the labor market until it has been decided that they are allowed to stay.

Mammoth task integration: political scientist criticizes the approach

Political scientist Münkler criticizes this: “You have to get people in here quickly Jobs even if they do not yet speak perfect German and may end up being rejected in the asylum procedure. The people have had bad things behind them, some of them have fled thousands of kilometers, and then they are barracked here and sit around idly. That creates problems. ”The country needs workers - and the low-skilled can be trained. "If you don't actively approach integration, then you will have problems later, like we have today with Lebanese clans, some of which are criminal."

Another benchmark for integration is crime. The annual “Situation Report on Crime in the Context of Immigration” by the Federal Criminal Police Office, which is about asylum seekers, refugees, tolerated persons and non-EU citizens staying in the country without permission. The police found: Migrants from Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria, who have realistic to very good chances of protection in this country, are far less likely to be criminals than, for example, migrants from the Maghreb states, of which very few are recognized as refugees. The statistics also show that immigrants are overrepresented in murder, manslaughter, aggravated assault and rape - like young men in general.

Refugees in Germany: Problems with deportations

The deportation of rejected asylum seekers is and will remain extremely difficult. Immigration has also contributed to a change in social and political conditions, like that County day noted. Association President Sager: “The dispute over the question of whether and to what extent those seeking protection should be admitted has - also in view of obvious cases of abuse and, above all, the fact that a large number of those who have been rejected Asylum seeker does not leave the country voluntarily and deportations often fail - it has become more severe over time. ”Overall, one has to say:“ The social climate has suffered as a result. ”

On a political level, the Asylum immigration become the most difficult topic of possible coalition negotiations between the Union and the Greens after the next federal election. It is true that the Greens can use the concept of "humanity and order" that has been tried again and again by Interior Minister Horst Seehofer (CSU) in the Migration policy sign in principle. How much humanity is necessary and possible, however, the opinions clearly differ. The dispute over the admission of additional asylum seekers in Berlin and Thuringia from overcrowded Greek camps shows that again. NRW Prime Minister Armin Laschet recently got an impression of the Moria refugee camp.

"That was an outcry from the desperate here in #Moria today. With such a large delegation it is clear that the people see: We can express ourselves", MP @ArminLaschet later visited the refugee camp "Moria" a second time alone with @JoachimStamp pic.twitter.com/AenFK70MrG

- State Chancellery NRW (@landnrw) August 4, 2020

Political scientist: "It is legitimate for Germany to limit immigration ..."

And how much order does it need? The President of the District Assembly warns: “In no case should the impression arise again that immigration - including and especially refugee immigration - is evading state control.” Political scientist Münkler, a defender of Politics of the Year 2015, also notes: “It is Legitimate when Germany limits immigration after we have taken in so many people and we take care of those who are now here. ”Seehofer, at that time still the Bavarian Prime Minister, had the unhindered entry of hundreds of thousands of asylum seekers - the majority of whom had no identity cards with them - 2016 referred to as "the rule of injustice". He is now trying to push ahead with a fundamental reform of the European asylum system.

Seehofer wants to move away from the principle that asylum seekers have to apply for protection where they first travel to the EU and are then sent back there at great expense when they have traveled on. He advocates a “preliminary examination” at the external borders of the EU. Only asylum seekers who have a chance asylum should be distributed in Europe, all others should be deported as directly as possible. But the project is stalled because some states, in which hardly any refugees arrive, have been resisting a new distribution mechanism for years. And then there was Corona.

Video: The situation in Greek refugee camps continues to be dramatic

Asylum seekers, refugee migrants or refugees?

You can often tell who is where by the choice of terms with which he or she describes the people involved. Anyone who has a cotton bag with the label "No one is illegal" or "Pier" foreigners who apply for protection tend to call them “refugees” or “refugees” - regardless of whether the reason for leaving their country of origin was political persecution, terror, an armed conflict or a lack of economic prospects.

The experts of the Expert Council of German Foundations for Integration and Migration, on the other hand, only speak of “refugees” when it comes to people whose asylum application was successful. The increasingly widespread term “refugees” is “broader because it does not only refer to the legal situation,” explains chairwoman Petra Bendel. "Historically, it is not that strong and tends to include all refugees regardless of gender." AfD politicians, on the other hand, prefer to speak of "illegal mass immigration" and "so-called refugees".

Gauland: AfD owes "resurgence primarily to the refugee crisis"

For the AfD *, which was in crisis after the split of the economically liberal wing around party co-founder Bernd Lucke in 2015, the large number of asylum seekers in the autumn of the same year was tactically a "gift", as its current honorary chairman Alexander Gauland admitted at the end of the time. By positioning itself as an anti-asylum party, the AfD was able to win many supporters. Gauland said to “Spiegel” at the time: “Of course we owe ours
Resurgence primarily of the refugee crisis. "

Matthias Jung from the Wahlen research group, however, believes that the CDU / CSU gave the AfD a tailwind in the years that followed, even if that was probably not the intention. The pollster says: “The Union has im Bundestag election campaign Made sure in 2017 that the issue of migration picked up speed again, from which the AfD was able to benefit. "

The suffering of the refugees drowning in the Mediterranean Sea or living in slum camps affects many Germans far less today than it did a few years ago, says Jung. “If you have the feeling that a problem cannot be solved, then you prefer to look the other way.” There is also an ambivalence: “When people see the suffering of refugees, they want to help. But you also have anxietythat immigration leads to change. They are happy to help. But the whole
The problem should also please go away. "

The Moria refugee camp on Lesbos (Greece) was in flames during the night and was almost completely destroyed. What should happen to the homeless migrants is unclear. * After the fire in Moria, Horst Seehofer wants to tackle the problems of refugee policy during the EU Council Presidency. The EU Commission is meanwhile planning a new course on the refugee issue.

At a motorway service station near Berlin, travelers suddenly saw hands waving from a truck tarpaulin. Refugees called for help and water. (kam / dpa) Merkur.de is part of the nationwide Ippen digital editorial network.)

List of rubric lists: © Armin Weigel