02:48 GMT +323 July 2018
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    A group of migrants make their way over a meadow after crossing the border between Austria and Germany in Wegscheid near Passau, Germany, Thursday, Oct. 15, 2015.

    Austria Considers Launching Checks at German Border Amid Refugee Inflow

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    The Austrian cabinet has also approved a bill enabling authorities to confiscate refugees' money and phones as a part of the government's efforts to deal with illegal migration.

    Austria could launch tougher traffic controls at its border with Germany as part of its stricter policy toward migration in the second half of 2018.

    "In the interest of protecting our own people, it is logical that we will step up checks," Herbert Kickl, a member of Austria's right-wing Freedom Party told the Austrian newspaper Salzburger Nachrichten.

    "From July 1 it could happen that we control (travel) in the direction of Germany," the politician added.

    READ MORE: Austria Approves Bill Requiring Migrants to Pay Fees, Hand in Phones Upon Entry

    On Wednesday, Vienna proposed a tougher policy toward migrants, with new measures including seizure of migrants' mobile phones to get more information about them, as well as possible deportation of underage refugees who commit crimes.

    "We have very deliberately set ourselves the goal of fighting against illegal migration, and also against the misuse of asylum," Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said, cited by Deutsche Welle.

    The bill stipulates that asylum seekers would have to pay fees for asylum processing (840 euro or $1,040). They can also be asked to hand over their phones to the Austrian authorities so that the latter could determine their identity and their country of origin, as well as check their criminal records.

    Among other things, the document makes deportations of migrants who commit crimes easier. This includes wrongdoers who are minors.

    READ MORE: Austrian FM Proposes Plan to Cut Migrant Benefits by One-Third

    The time period required for migrants who have received asylum to get Austrian citizenship will also be prolonged from the current six years to ten years.

    Those whose asylum application has been rejected won't be able to move beyond the district where they live until they decide to go back to their home country, according to the document.

    The bill was approved by the cabinet, but still needs to be adopted by parliament.

    Europe has been experiencing a severe migration crisis in recent years due to the influx of thousands of people fleeing violence in their home countries in the Middle East and North Africa.

    Austria received some 150,000 asylum applications following the start of the crisis. Since 2016, Vienna has introduced annual caps on the number of asylum seekers that it's ready to accept into the country. In 2018, this figure is 30,000.

    Related:

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    Dozens Detained in Austria For Drug Dealing Involving Underage Migrants - Police
    Tags:
    migration crisis, border control, Germany, Austria
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