Migration: CDU politician Frei defends asylum initiative

The CDU politician Thorsten Frei has rejected criticism of his proposals for a radical reform of the asylum law.

Migration: CDU politician Frei defends asylum initiative

The CDU politician Thorsten Frei has rejected criticism of his proposals for a radical reform of the asylum law. Regarding statements by Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD) at the beginning of June that anyone who violates the basic right to individual asylum is playing the dirty game of the right-wing AfD, he said: "I don't think that's appropriate, nor appropriate, nor fair."

He made a contribution to the debate, emphasized Frei in the RTL / ntv "early start". "And if the woman were honest, then she would have to recognize that the way it is is not good - and in my opinion it cannot stay." The proposal causes controversial debates across the parties; from the Union there was encouragement. Government spokesman Steffen Hebestreit also took a stand.

Frei said Faeser would do well to seriously consider his thoughts on managing migration to Europe. "Because she obviously has no better suggestions to offer."

The Parliamentary Secretary of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group in the Bundestag proposes abolishing the right of individual migrants to apply for asylum on European soil and replacing it with admission quotas. These 300,000 to 400,000 refugees per year should be selected directly from abroad and then distributed in Europe. "An application on European soil would no longer be possible, the receipt of social benefits and job opportunities would be completely excluded," wrote the CDU politician in the "FAZ".

Free: Solution approach for "objective problem"

Frei told the broadcasters that his concept was an answer to the increasing number of asylum seekers. "If you take the year 2022 alone, when around 1.3 million people came to Germany in need of protection and applied for asylum here, then you have to say it's a number that you certainly can't repeat every year, because that's the performance, would also overwhelm society's ability to integrate."

According to figures from the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (Bamf), 217,774 people in Germany applied for asylum last year - 47 percent more than in the previous year and more than at any time since 2016. Most came from Syria (70,976), Afghanistan (36,358), Turkey (23,938), Iraq and Georgia. In addition, one million war refugees from Ukraine were admitted without having to apply for asylum.

When asked whether he was also reacting to the currently high approval ratings for the AfD with his proposals, Frei said he didn't look so much at the political values ​​of other parties. "But I'm doing what I think politicians are there for: We have an objective problem that many people in our country identify as a big challenge and a big problem. And then it's our job to make suggestions on how to do it has to deal with."

Saxony's Prime Minister Michael Kretschmer (CDU) also sees pressure to act. "Illegal migration cannot continue as before. The number of people coming to Germany to apply for asylum is clearly too large," he told the German Press Agency on Tuesday.

Federal government sticks to individual entitlement to asylum

Politicians from the traffic light groups rejected the proposals. Criticism also came from the AfD and the left.

However, the federal government does not want to shake the individual right to asylum. Government spokesman Hebestreit answered a question from a journalist in Berlin on Wednesday: "I am not aware of such considerations within the federal government, comma, and would also surprise me, period."

A spokesman for the Federal Ministry of the Interior pointed out that refugees are already being admitted via quotas and the so-called resettlement. Regarding difficulties in returning rejected asylum seekers, he said that deportations are basically a task for the federal states. However, the federal government is also involved in this area by pushing ahead with legislative changes and also providing practical support, for example with the repatriation of people who have committed serious crimes.

Expert: Proposal led to "large layer of precarious people"

Migration expert Daniel Thym told the "Welt" that Frei's move would have serious consequences if implemented. People would then continue to come to Germany who could not apply for asylum, could not work and did not receive certain benefits. "If they are threatened with danger in their countries of origin, we must not deport them. As a result, Mr. Frei's proposal would mean creating a large class of precarious people in Germany," says the Konstanz immigration law expert.

The German Institute for Human Rights noted that individual access to a fair asylum procedure in Germany and the EU cannot be replaced by those in need of protection being admitted directly from abroad. It pointed out that this possibility already exists "in the context of humanitarian admission programs and resettlement".

Union support

The Union's domestic policy spokesman in the Bundestag, Alexander Throm (CDU), supports Frei's proposal. He told the German Press Agency that Frei was right to point out "that our migration system is currently causing completely wrong conditions".

People handed themselves over to smugglers and risked a dangerous crossing across the Mediterranean Sea. They sometimes crossed half the world "and many safe countries" in order to choose Europe as their "desired place". Unfortunately, the principle applies: "The strong arrive, the weak fall by the wayside." Throm said this effect was never intended, neither by the United Nations nor by the German Basic Law. According to him, it would be better if the selection was based solely on humanitarian criteria in the countries of origin.

Migration expert Thym said that pull factors would be "only slightly" reduced in Frei's proposal, since "according to the Federal Constitutional Court, human dignity requires that at least rudimentary care be provided". Thym criticized: "What about those who are threatened with persecution or human rights violations, but who still arrive here and are not in the 'contingents'? Are they also deported?" If that's what Frei means, then that wouldn't be feasible with human rights, Thym said.