The high cost of deportee housing and social assistance in Germany

Illegal migrants who are obliged to leave Germany but do not, have very little to fear if they stay. In these cases, the authorities often grant a “Duldung”, which means a carefree life in the German welfare state.

The AfD parliamentary group in the Bundestag wanted to do something about this legal complacency: Federal payments for rejected asylum seekers should be discontinued, they argued. In the “adjustment meeting” of the budget committee this week – after which the mainstream coalition politicians boasted about their “austerity efforts” – the attempt by the AfD to apply the law and save the taxpayer money, failed however.

The AfD parliamentary group used asylum decision statistics as the basis for its calculation. According to this, around 58 percent of all asylum applications were rejected in 2020. Since asylum seekers actually had to leave the country in these cases and their further stay could no longer be justified, the AfD demanded a corresponding reduction in federal payments to the states.

The potential savings in the Minister of Labour and Social Affairs Hubertus Heil’s individual plan would have been 4,46 billion euros. The largest items would have been 1,76 billion euros for the “cost of accommodation” (rent and ancillary costs) and 2,09 billion euros for social assistance payments. But the request was strictly rejected in the budget committee.

It is incomprehensible to the party, “why the federal government supports rejected asylum seekers in Germany instead of consistently deporting them and using the money for their own citizens,” said AfD member of the Bundestag Ulrike Schielke-Ziesing.

It would have been a saving of almost four and a half billion euros, she told Berlin weekly Junge Freiheit. Federal states generally raise massive concerns with every small tax law change in the Federal Council, arguing that their loss of income would be too great, but somehow they shrugged off this saving.

In addition, it would mean faster deportations if benefits for rejected asylum seekers were suspended. Currently, fewer and fewer deportations are carried out. At the end of 2019, 249 922 foreigners were obliged to leave the Federal Republic of Germany. Of these, however, 202 387 foreigners managed to stay on.

There have been no deportation to Syria, even though the civil war there has ended in large parts of the country. This year (January to October) 29 413 asylum seekers claimed to be from Syria. At 35 percent, they were the largest group of the 83 735 asylum seekers (January to October 2020).

In fact, only 22 097 asylum seekers were deported last year. In 2016, 26 375 asylum seekers were deported. Most of the deported are (according to nationality) Albanians (1 604), Nigerians (1 432) and Georgians (1242).

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