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?
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.
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?
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.