08:57 GMT +322 September 2019
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    Migrants arrive at the first registration point for asylum seekers in Erding near Munich, southern Germany, on November 15, 2016

    New German Immigration Law Hasn’t Solved the ‘Basic Issue’ – Professor

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    The German parliament on Friday adopted a series of immigration laws that should make it easier to deport failed asylum seekers, while at the same time helping skilled migrants access the German labour market and integrate into society.

    Dr Werner Patzelt, a leading expert on right-wing movements and political science professor at the Technical University in Dresden, believes Germany needs to have some sort of immigration regulations adopted, but warns change will be slow to come.

    Sputnik: Germany has passed new legislation introducing many changes to migration laws in the country. Under the new law, the governing coalition is extending the rights of German police and immigration authorities so that fewer deportations fail. Why do you think it took so long to pass this legislation?

    Dr Werner Patzelt: It took so long because there is deep disagreement among political parties on how to handle immigration. The Green Party and most of the Social Democrats always wanted to have very liberal or even permissive regime of immigration, allowing them to stay in Germany, whereas the Christian Social Union or the Christian Democratic Union wanted a more strict and well-regulated regime and both could not agree, and since we need public support for that and support of both chambers of the parliament, it was somehow necessary to have this enormous rise of the AfD to move the political class to pass laws which the significant part of Germans really wanted to have passed and the electoral successes of AfD have speeded up this process which was so slow for such a long period of time.

    Sputnik: How will it tackle the mass disappearance of those obliged to leave the country?

    Dr Werner Patzelt: Well, this is really a problem because many of those who really should leave the country simply disappear before they can be brought to the airport and put into an airplane. One idea is to have camps where those who are meant to be brought out of the country during the coming weeks will live. But such camps need to be quite distinct from prisons, as a matter fact, because they are not criminals, simply persons who are not allowed to stay in Germany, and we don’t have enough places for such people. And on the other hand in our German domestic discussions such a camp is called a concentration camp, and we cannot build concentration camps in Germany.

    READ MORE: Over 5,600 Asylum Seekers Deported From Germany in Q1 2019 – Reports

    So it’s difficult both for organisational reasons and for, so to speak, ideological reasons, and I do not see that this problem will be solved because on the one side we have the law, and on the other side we have administration and rule of law and there’s so many administrative courts to which you can apply for not being deported, and usually those have won the procedure of law don’t want to be deported.

    Sputnik: Do you think the new legislation will actually help Germany cope with migration flows?

    Dr Werner Patzelt: Since all our administrative actions made a law as its basis it makes a difference whether we have law speeding up or allowing even administrative procedures on not having such laws, therefore, it will make a difference. However, having the law passed in the Bundestag is only the beginning of the final chapter of the story. These laws need to be adopted at the Bundesrat as well because these laws need to be executed by Land authorities and therefore the Bundesrat has absolute veto power.

    The majority in the Bundestag is with the Green and the Social Democratic parties, so I don't yet see that those things those bills that have been passed by the Bundestag yesterday will really be signed into law in the coming months, and then the whole administrative apparatus must find the proper procedures that are excepted by our administrative courts, but I don’t think will see more efficiency in bringing out people who are not allowed to stay in Germany; I do not see any changes for the coming six months.

    Sputnik: How might the law impact the domestic political situation in the country?

    Dr Werner Patzelt: In at least two different ways. The Green Party and most of the Social Democrats and the Left Party, of course, are arguing that this law has done deep damage to German democracy and to rule of law in Germany.

    Some said that these laws should be stopped from practical adoption in administrative practice, on the other hand, the AfD spread the feeling, well, finally the lawmaker is moving into the proper direction due to our electoral success, so the argument goes on the political class is still reluctant to solve this problem fearful in order to push the political class further in the proper direction more electoral success is needed for the AfD and the AfD turns this legislation into an argument for getting more votes at the coming state elections, and the Christian Democratic Union is somewhere in the middle because most of the members and the deputies of the Christian Democratic Union know that in the inaction of the German government in migration issues is one of the main causes for the rise of the AfD, but Chancellor Merkel and her political supporters are not in favour, rather they’re in opposition to this whole type of political development, making Germany more efficient in getting refugees out of the country.

    READ MORE: Illegal Immigration Main Reason for Traditional Parties' Trouble - Lecturer

    So there is an interaction with the political situation, but it’s to be differentiated between the AfD, who feels to be further on the rise, the left parties, the Social Democrats who feel something absolutely wrong has been done in Germany, and the Christian Democratic Union which is split on the whole issue.

    Sputnik: How might Germany benefit from the new legislation?

    Dr Werner Patzelt: Well, as soon as it would become clear that those who are not allowed to stay in Germany would really be brought out of the country there would be […] as a practice to come to Germany to claim asylum and then to rely on the slow procedures of the German rule of law state, and this might lower the pressure of migration on the German political system and on the German welfare state and this is exactly what needs to be done.

    If you ask the Social Democrats in Denmark on how and why they lost elections they would say, “Yes, because exactly we stand for that type of policy which the 10th for the type of policy which Germany needs take in the future and which Germany refused to go down in the past.” So we might find a solution for that two-headed […] on the migration issue in the German political scene.

    Sputnik: Will the German labour market be impacted if this legislation is approved?

    Dr Werner Patzelt: One of the laws that we had passed yesterday or the day before yesterday by the Bundestag, in fact, allows immigration by well-trained people who speak German, who are competitive on the German labour market. This might be very, very helpful because we are in need of additional labour force, in particular, of qualified labour force, be it medical personnel, personnel on the social welfare system, and we hope to attract such people.

    So far there was hardly a reliable regular way for them to immigrate to Germany, now we will have a way of doing that, and we hope to recruit significant part of our necessary labour force by this law. After all, you still need to distinguish that Germany can at any point in time integrate people from the EU states because we have a free labour market, but our problem was to find qualified people from other parts of the world like Asia, South America and so on, and this might be eased by this new legislation and we really hope that it does the trick.

    Sputnik: What’s your personal view on this legislation?

    Dr Werner Patzelt: The law on immigration is highly appreciated by myself, I argued for many years that we need an immigration law, regulating immigration by qualified people into Germany. Second, I feel that bringing people out of Germany who are not entitled to stay here is also a step in the correct direction, which I have been claiming for many years.

    READ MORE: Migrant Influx to Germany May Weigh Down Economy in Years to Come

    The basic issues has not been settled, this is the protection of the outside borders of the European Union because we still have a lot of immigration, not as much as in recent years, but this is still an unsettled problem. And my hope is that as soon as we don’t attract as many refugees or immigrants as we did in the last years, and as soon as those who stay in the country are really integrated in the German society, would have managed to integrate into our society, into a fully working and functioning immigration society. So the necessary steps have been done – will that be sufficient is still an open question.

    The views expressed in this article are solely those of Dr Werner Patzelt and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Sputnik.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

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