Debate over deporting foreigners with criminal records has intensified in Germany after a recent fatal stabbing attack on a local train.
There was a fatal knife attack on a train in Germany recently. Since then, there has been a vigorous debate on deportation laws and their application at various levels and quarters. The suspect, a stateless Palestinian, was living in Germany despite his criminal record.
When and where did the knife attack take place?
Two weeks ago, a man aboard a regional train heading to the northern German port city of Hamburg stabbed passengers and killed two people. The alleged perpetrator, thirty-three-year-old Ibrahim A, was known to the police because he had several prior assault charges.
He was only recently released from detention. After the incident, Germany’s center-left Social Democrat politician and Interior Minister Nancy Feiser visited the scene and said in a statement on the occasion, “Why is it possible that such a criminal is still in our country?” “
German laws for deportation
Under German law, foreign nationals can be deported if they have committed a crime or are classified as a member of a terrorist organization. Such aliens can be detained and then sent back to their country of origin. Germany’s federal states are responsible for de facto deportation.
But as a stateless person from the Gaza Strip, it was impossible to deport Ibrahim A. “Someone who does not have a homeland or is stateless cannot be deported because there is no legal basis for the person being deported,” Gerald Knauss, a migration expert and researcher, told DW. Must be a resident of the country so that he can return to that country after deportation. In this case, there is no state that will accept Ibrahim A after his deportation.
Foreign nationals who do not have the right to stay in Germany can be deported. In most such cases, their asylum applications are rejected, after which they are deported. According to official data, by the end of last year in Germany, about 340,000 people were added to the list, who were ordered to leave the country.
The policy of the new German federal government
Germany’s centre-left coalition government, which came to power just over a year ago, announced a breakthrough in deportation proceedings. The main goal was to force criminals and potential terrorists to leave the country more quickly. However, such announcements were not implemented.
According to Andrea Lindhols, a lawmaker from the center-right Christian Social Union (CSU) opposition party in Bavaria, “The federal government’s announcement of progress in deportations was nothing more than a sad joke.” “
According to the German Interior Ministry, around 13,000 people were deported last year, most of them from Georgia, Albania, Serbia, Moldova and Pakistan. “Deportation is actually a necessary consequence of our asylum and residency laws,” says Andrea Lindhols.
But Clara Bunger, a lawmaker from the Left Party, is concerned about the deportees, who are from war-torn and politically oppressed countries or poverty-stricken countries. He said, “We see a lot of police brutality and derogatory behavior during the deportation of such persons.”
Obstacles to the deportation process
There are many reasons why the process of deportation or repatriation of foreigners does not proceed. For example, asylum seekers and applicants and their lawyers can fight legal battles against deportation orders. Those with rejected asylum applications can take their case to a “hardship commission”, which in turn can recommend to the German interior minister that deportation be suspended.
Refugees cannot be deported to countries where their lives are threatened by war or persecution. Doing so would violate the European Convention on Human Rights. Also, any kind of mental or physical illness provides grounds to prevent deportation.
Authorities have to confirm that they are deporting the right person and often face delays in decisions due to the absence of travel or identity documents. The country to which these persons are deported may delay the repatriation of such persons or even refuse to accept it.