Sputnik discussed the issue with Dr Malte Kaufmann, chairman of the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party for the Heidelberg district.
Sputnik: On Thursday, 6 June, the German government announced that "from 2017 to 2019, 2,506 people out of 102,761 applicants for refugee status, who left Germany after their applications were rejected, filed them again after re-entering Germany". In your opinion, what is the reason behind these individuals reapplying in a country that has already rejected them once?
Malte Kaufmann: I've read these statements as well in the news, and it shows again that we have a totally unsatisfying migration situation in Germany. I think the comments from the politicians, from our government, from Angela Merkel, are just not working and attracting many hundreds of thousands of people to come to Germany.
So, I'm shocked about these numbers again and again; I think we must totally think again and stop this kind of immigration policy that we have.
Sputnik: How likely is that a second application will succeed?
Malte Kaufmann: The likelihood is not very high that a second application will succeed; but as I said it takes several months and all the while, a large number of these illegal migrants can live in Germany, they have a much better living; maybe some of them are even criminals in their home countries, so they'd like to leave and come to a different country.
I think it must be stopped. The reason behind this [second application] is that we have the highest amount of pocket money. The most lucrative spot in Europe is Germany, maybe a few other Northern European countries; that's why they go from country to country and choose Germany to apply for asylum.
And, I don't know if you're aware of, but in our constitution, in Article 16, it is clearly stated that asylum seekers that come from secure countries, third-party countries like Switzerland, Austria, or France, will not have the right to apply for asylum. So, I also think, and my party also thinks, that this whole situation is unconstitutional at the moment.
Sputnik: What does the law say in such cases?
Malte Kaufmann: As I said, if someone is rejected already, of course, if they come again, they have to repay all the expenditures that were given to them by the German government. But we have no means to recover the money at all if they say that it was stolen or it is gone for other reasons.
So, I think these are the wrong incentives that we give here. The better solution would be if we controlled the border on the EU side, I mean the EU borders, with a common effort; if that doesn’t work, we just have to send people away at the German border and not let them in, say "you're all welcome" and then try to send them back. I think this is an unsatisfying situation for us - and for true asylum seekers and true refugees that would like to come to Germany.
Sputnik: What are your predictions about what’s happening with the budget money that the refugees received from the German government as part of the reintegration programme in their homeland?
And that's why I also would like to change the situation that asylum seekers get pocket money to zero; all they should get is the basic human needs. But it would be even better if asylum is applied for and decided on in their home countries to not let them go through all these different countries, through the whole of Europe or the Mediterranean Sea and invite them into our country; and then we have a big problem of sending them back.
Sputnik: How reasonable do you think such state expenditures are?
Malte Kaufmann: Totally unreasonable. People do that, I can understand refugees or people who exploit the system; I totally can understand that. The main problem is not those people that come in; the main problem is our own government, our own policies. We need to change that situation so that we don't attract these people that come in.
Sputnik: Do you think Germany will somehow change its law regarding this situation? What can Germany do?
Malte Kaufmann: There would be a need for political change in the government. Right now the Greens are gaining from month to month; they have a lot of percentages now in the polls, almost overtaking the CDU, Angela Merkel’s party.
So, I don't know what society thinks, there are just very many people that welcome these policies; but I think, in the long run, it's too costly and people will realise in a few years that we cannot afford these billions of euros that are paid every year for these programmes.
We have state elections in autumn, and in several states, in Eastern Germany, the AfD is already in the polls as the party with the highest percentage; so maybe there will be some drastic change by the end of this year, we'll see.
Views and opinions, expressed in the article are those of Malte Kaufmann and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.