An original translation from German daily newspaper Hamburger Abendblatt:
Merkel and Scholz: Integrate Rejected Asylum Seekers
By Christoph Heinemann and Christian Unger
Abendblatt exclusive: Access to language courses and Federal Funds
Merkel formed task team in response to Scholz’ Motion
The lost ones meet every Friday evening in a cafe in the Schanze. Seven young Afghans without a perspective to stay – as their asylum application has either been in process for more than one year, or has been decided upon negatively, they aren’t allowed to work or to visit a proper language course*.
Several thousand of such people, often merely “tolerated” for years, live in Hamburg.
Mayor Olaf Scholz (SPD, Social Democrats) apparently wants to grant these people extensive assistance measures. As Abendblatt learnt exclusively, already in June a task force was formed upon decision of chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU, Christian Democrats), which is to develop suggestions. Members of this task force are representatives of Senate, the Chief of the Federal Agency for Work, Detlef Scheele (SPD), as well as leaders of Saarland which is led by the CDU. In November, the group is expected to present their findings at a meeting of the Federal Presidents.
Scholz wants to give rejected asylum seekers a perspective
Olaf Scholz (SPD) had put the topic on the agenda at a meeting of the minister presidents, according to sources in the Senate. The plan is to assist all those asylum seekers more, who do not have a safe perspective to stay, but who de facto will be in Germany for a longer period of time. “You need to face reality and give these people a chance, too”, a source neaer Scholz said. The chief of the Agency for Work and former Senator for Social issues, Detlef Scheele, allegedly is also among the advocates for better assitance of the affected peole.
Possible reforms are politically sensitive
A source close to the mayor says that several concrete steps are possible: the admission of people fro countries like Afghanistan into integration courses of the Federal Agency for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) and better care by the Federal Agency for Work, and faster issue of work permits.
According to the source, in the future, also foreigners who are merely tolerated** might be able to profit from assistance programmes, for example the Federal Agency for Work might pay for part of their wage, to encourage giving work to refugees. The focus of the efforts is intended to be on people who have already been living in Hamburg and in other federal states for a few years with an insecure perspective of staying.
Speaker of Senate, Jörg Schmoll, did not want to comment on the task force and the suggestions upon request. A speaker of the Federal Agency for Work merely confirmed that Detlef Scheele would deliver a presentation at the next meeting of the minister presidents. The making available of funds for (rejected) asylum seekers is politically sensitive. Normally, a “tolerance” (suspension of deportation) is only issued when a deportation cannot be carried out for concrete reasons, for example illness. But in fact, deportations to Afghanistan are extremely rare, due to the situation in that country. In Hamburg, Afghans make for the largest group of asylum seekers and refugees, even before the Syrians.
* “aren’t allowed to work or to visit a proper language course”
Every foreigner in Germany, legal or illegal, may sign up for the many language courses available on the free market. So what is meant by “proper language course” must be public-funded language courses with no tuition fee
** “tolerated”, “geduldet”, is a legal term for people who are in Germany illegally, but who are not deported for a variety of reasons