Germany passes stricter laws on asylum seekers

2017-05-19 16:00:58 GMT2017-05-20 00:00:58(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

BERLIN, May 19 (Xinhua) -- The German Federal Parliament (Bundestag) has passed new laws which provide stricter rules on refugee deportation, monitoring and personal data access, local media reported Friday.

The laws, passed on Thursday evening, are aimed at rejected asylum seekers that pose a security risk to the country.

The laws will allow German officials to deport rejected asylum seekers more quickly and more regularly, and would improve "enforcement of deportation rulings", according to the Bundestag.

Deportation can now be imposed on rejected asylum seekers whether they can be re-expatriated within three months or not. The authorities will also have the right to detain asylum seekers for a maximum of 10 days (previously four) if they suspect the individual to be a security threat.

The new legislation was already agreed in February, however Chancellor Merkel, her CDU Party and the Social Democratic Party (SPD) agreed to make several stricter amends just before the new legislation went to vote.

The stricter modifications mean that certain asylum seekers, including those who provide false identification or refuse to leave Germany once a deportation ruling has passed, will now have their freedom of movement severely restricted.

In addition, any asylum seekers that have few prospects in Germany will be asked to remain in reception centers until their asylum request has been processed.

The new legislation has come under harsh criticism by human rights groups and welfare organizations which deem the legislation to be an assault on the fundamental rights of those seeking protection.

German newspaper Die Welt on Friday quoted a legal expert as saying that new data access law, in particular for personal smartphones, is a "major encroachment into the privacy of tens of thousands of people."

German Federal Minister of the Interior, Thomas De Maiziere, defended the new legislation and stated that those who seek protection will receive help and integration from Germany and those with dishonest intentions will receive "hardship and repatriation".

The change in law comes after Anis Amri, the Berlin Christmas market attacker who killed 12 people last year, had his deportation order waived because Germany did not receive the necessary paperwork from the Tunisian government.

On Thursday, local media also reported that Amri was already known to the Berlin police as a drug trafficker prior to the attack but was not apprehended.

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