The German government is strengthening laws that will make it easier to deport antisemitic migrants from the country.
Proposed by the Chancellor Angela Merkel-led CDU-CSU conservative alliance, the draft bill calls for the “absolute acceptance of Jewish life” to be considered a “benchmark” for migrants who are “integrating into society, “, according to a report in the German newspaper Die Welt.
The bill has also stipulated that “those who refuse Jewish life in Germany” or question “the right of existence of Israel cannot have a place in our country”, the paper said. The new rules are expected to be proposed before Holocaust memorial day which falls on 27 January.
Stephan Harbarth, deputy chairman of the CDU-CSU parliamentary group, stated that antisemitic migrants having an Arab background or from African countries.” must resolutely” be opposed .
“Rampant” Antisemetic Sentiments Among Refugees
A study carried out on behalf of the American Jewish Committee’s Ramer Institute for German-Jewish Relations in Berlin found that antisemitic sentiments among Muslim refugees was “rampant” and needed urgent attention.
The study was based on interviews with 68 refugees, and it additionally found that refugees belonging to persecuted minority communities were more likely to take a stand against antisemitism for Israel.
Under the new bill, although deportation orders will still need to comply with the policy issued in 2016, the migrants who are found guilty of antisemitic hate speech can be removed from the country.
Refugees Protested Against Jerusalem as the official capital of Israel
The new bill comes in wake of outrage after protesters burned Israeli flags protesting the US’s decision last December to recognise Jerusalem as the official capital of Israel.
Interior minister Thomas de Maiziere had reportedly even suggested the appointment of an antisemitism commissioner to counter the increasing incidences of hate speech against Israel and the country’s own Jewish community.
President of Germany Frank-Walter Steinmeier expressed shock at the protests noting that rejection of antisemitism was a “non-negotiable” condition for living in Germany.
Similarly Heiko Maas, the acting justice minister, stated that antisemitism was an “attack on everyone” which can’t be “allowed to have a place [in society] again”.
Local Authorities Have Final Say In Deportation
Under current rules, foreigners having valid resident permits, including those who have been granted asylum, can be evicted from the country if they commit a serious crime.
Although the Federal Ministry of Migration and Refugees (BAMF) has powers to issue a “threat of deportation” ultimately it is down to local authorities of the country’s 16 federal states to make the final decision.
Local authorities can refuse to deport someone if they believe that the person may face a threat to their life in their country of origin or are too physically or mentally ill to travel.
In the year 2016, there were 25,375 deportations from Germany an increase of 21.5% over 2015.
Chancellor Merkel unveiled a 16-point plan in 2017, to increase deportations ahead of the proposed September election which was seen by most experts as an attempt to rally her conservative base behind her after the Alternative for Germany (AFD) party criticised the country’s asylum and immigration policies.