No kidding ! The deportation of refugees may not take place before 6 am, ruled the Düsseldorf Administrative Court in Germany

No, this is no fake news, no outrageous tweet by conspiracy theorists who oppose this state on principle. It is a very serious piece of news, which the ZDF broadcasts: “Foreigners to be deported have the right to sleep at night – they must not be visited by the authorities at night.Even in times when many a basic right has to give way for ” civil protection “, when the Social Democratic Party (SPD) politician Karl Lauterbach wants to restrict the right to inviolability of the home for citizens and to control it at home, and when the Minister of the Interior of Baden-Württemberg Strobl wants to forcibly put quarantine refusers in quarantine,at least the right of deportees to peace at night from the authorities is therefore guaranteed. Many a worker who works at night, from bakers to police officers, will be surprised to hear this.The 7th Chamber of the Düsseldorf Administrative Court decided on Monday (file no. 7 I 32/20) that the aliens department of the City of Duisburg was “not entitled” to “search a flat at 4.30 a.m. in order to find a foreigner for the purpose of deportation”. It must wait until 6 a.m. to do so.

The fact that the authority presumably has its reasons based on experience for visiting the homes of foreigners to be deported at night in order to increase the probability (approximately every second deportation fails) of finding the wanted person was obviously of no importance to the court. A press release states that “the search of a flat is not necessary even then”, “when a deadline for departure set for the foreigner has expired. Further circumstances, such as the declaration that the foreigner does not wish to leave voluntarily, are required”. Enforcement measures at night are only permitted by the Residence Act in exceptional cases.

In the specific case from Duisburg, the requested search of the flat at night “is also not permitted by way of exception because there are no facts from which it can be concluded that the deportation would otherwise be thwarted. In particular, the authority could not invoke the early start of the flight for deportation in this respect. According to the Court, mere organisational considerations do not justify entering or even searching flats at night. On the other hand, the foreigners authority has to align the planning of deportation routes and means with the legal requirements. Everyone who has ever booked a flight knows that the one at 5 am is usually much cheaper than one at 10 am. But in the case of deportations, the peace at night of the deportees obviously takes priority over thriftiness in the interest of the taxpayer.

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