BERLIN: German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cabinet approved on Wednesday a draft law to swiftly deport failed asylum seekers.
Interior Minister Horst Seehofer told a news conference in Berlin that the new legislation would introduce tougher measures to accelerate deportations of rejected asylum-seekers.
“Those who are obliged to leave, must leave our country. If this legal obligation is not fulfilled, then the state must enforce this,” he said.
Under the new legislation, failed asylum seekers unable to prove their identity will no longer be eligible for various financial or social security benefits. Rejected asylum seekers who made false statements about their identity or their country of origin would be kept in preparatory detention before being sent back to their home countries.
Seehofer said last year German authorities failed to send back around 31,000 rejected asylum seekers, as their identity could not be established beyond a doubt.
Some of them lacked travel document, and others disappeared from the Interior Ministry radar.
According to ministry figures, some 240,000 foreigners are required to leave the country, as their asylum applications were rejected, or their visas have expired.
The move comes some five weeks before European Parliament elections, with polls showing right-wing, anti-immigrant parties favored to make gains. (AA)