An Editorial Comment
by Otto Diederichs
On July 1st a new “refugee policy compromise” has gone into effect in the FRG, arrived at by the governing coalition and the SPD opposition, which make refugee entry into the country more difficult. Refugees and persons who had entered the country illegally were immediately effected by this new legislation at midnight on the day it went into effect: more than 100 along Germany’s borders with Poland and the Czech Republic were expelled back across the border. This issue of CILIP is a sequel to the discussion of currently relevant right-wing radicalism and xenophobia in Germany which began last issue.
How xenophobic can statistical data become?
by Roland Appel
The annual number of applications for refugee status in the FRG rose from 103.000 in 1988 to more than 400.000 in 1992. The propagandistic cries during the public debate on the refugee issue calling for an end to the flood of applications, however, become all the more dubious if we bear the reality in mind that the number of applications permits no conclusions whatsoever with reference to the number of persons actually involved. Whether an application involves an individual initially filing for refugee status or some filing a subsequent follow-up application or other members of a family being attached to an application already filed is simply not reflected in this statistic. The article analyzes the often irresponsible and to some extent misleading and erroneous use of statistics and the consequences of such data abuse.
From Single Market to Common Deportation Platform
by Heiner Busch
Through the creation of the Single European Market, the governments of the Community have transported their hitherto national policies of sealing off their countries onto the higher common level of Europe as a whole. In particular, one of the primary goals of this policy is to seal off the Community against “uncontrolled entry”. The refugees policy of the European Community which has been primarily formulated by the FRG and into which Germany’s new refugee legislation which went into force on July 1st, 1993 has also been integrated, is not merely new law on the books. It is also closely related to police cooperation in Europe. At the same time, sealing off the external borders of the European Communities will also lead to a tightening of border passage in southern and eastern Europe.
Securing Germany’s Border to the East
by Otto Diederichs
A total of 2.463 members of Germany’s Federal Border Guard and an additional 1.100 members of the Customs Service are under deployment for the purpose of securing Germany’s borders to the East. Along the Baltic coast they are being additionally supported by a flotilla of the German Coast Guard. Because, according to official reports, this is not a sufficient personnel level, the Federal Border Guard began in February to recruit an additional 1.500 auxiliary forces from the communities along the Eastern border. The Federal Border Guard not only performs the classic tasks of checking entry documents, countering smuggling, and executing general search warrants, etc., their most important task lies in reducing the “pressure of illegal entrance”, as the federal minister of the interior, Rudolf Seiters termed it in early 1992. Illegal transfer organizations, border trespassing specialists, electronic borders and East-West police cooperation are the key topics being dealt with in this article.
The Registration of Aliens in the Federal Republic
by Thilo Weichert
In 1953 the first data bank was established for the purpose of creating a central registry of all aliens residing on German soil, the Central Aliens Registry. For many years by far the largest data bank on persons to exist in the Federal Republic was justified in terms of the need to keep track of aliens in Germany due to relaxed passport regulations and the influx of alien labor. The author illustrates the special attention and treatment given to aliens, particularly immigrants and refugees: ranging from the Central Aliens Registry to the ASYLON system and the fingerprint data-bank at the federal crime bureau, AFIS, to the European EURODAC data-bank.
How is the FRG Coping with Illegal Entry?
by Alexander Müller
The revised version of Article 16 of the Basic Law (the German Constitution) and the auxiliary legislation which went into force on July 1st of this year are a milestone in the revision of alien and refugee policies in the Federal Republic of Germany. They also represent an almost complete break with the traditional German concept of formulating and enacting refugee and immigration or entry policies. The author, as deputy minister for youth affairs in the state administration of Hessia also responsible for providing housing for refugees, describes the situation as it has developed subsequent to the 1st of July, including the expected consequences. In addition, he presents some initial suggestions for dealing with persons who have entered the country illegally or who have applied for refugee status from the perspective of a public administrator responsible for the enforcement of this new legislation attempting to facilitate policies as humane as possible for dealing with these groups.
The ‚Working Group Aliens‘ on the Berlin Police Force
by Otto Diederichs
The origins of the ‚Working Group Aliens‘ (AGA) within the Berlin police force date back to the year 1971 when the first three-person team was created to deal especially with aliens matters. In the meantime, the unit has a total of 61 members. Their primary task is to maintain contacts with leading members of the aliens communities and to help to generate understanding and confidence in the Berlin police force. In addition they are also responsible for investigating persons illegally residing on German soil and executing “measures to terminate their residence”. Any evaluation of the AGA is bound to be ambivalent. Their activities in connection with Berlin’s legally resident alien population is certainly worthy of praise. On the other hand, its activities in connection with the illegal cigarette trade being carried out by Vietnamese dealers, Asian or Eastern European prostitution etc. are not acceptable as long as they have any influence on their residence status or their application for recognition as refugees. The society succumbs in this area as well as in many others to the schizophrenia by differentiating between “good” (i.e. legally resident) and “bad” (i.e. illegally resident) aliens.
The Police Must Fulfill Their Duty to Protect
Documentation of a list of demands presented by the “Forum for a Colorful Germany – SOS Racism” and others aimed at protecting aliens on German soil.
Refugee Policies in the Netherlands
by Wil van der Schans
Every year the government of the Netherlands ‚invites‘ 500 persons to enter the country, all of whom become recognized refugees. For all those not granted this privileged status who nevertheless attempt to enter into the country on their own new restrictive measures have been enacted which by far surpass the worst expectations of refugee organizations in the Netherlands. The article provides a survey of refugee policies in the Netherlands giving special attention to the role played by the border police of the Netherlands, the ‚Koninglijke Marechaussee‘.
Spain, the Border to the South
by Heiner Busch
In preparation for its entry into the European Community Spain passed an Aliens Act in 1985. And in 1990 in signing the Schengen Accord Spain agreed to accept the common visa regulations already established. Indeed Spain even pre-empted this necessity by making it compulsory for members of the North African bordering states to obtain visas for entry into Spain. Only for those Spanish cities, Ceuta and Melilla, both located on African soil do special regulations exist. The net result of these visa requirements and stiffer regulations has been a dramatic increase in the number of illegal entries onto Spanish soil via the Strait of Gibraltar. Spain reacted by signing returnee agreements with Morocco and the creation of a special naval unit of the Guardia Civil.
The Lower Saxony Police Reform Act
by Rolf Gössner
Subsequent to the police scandals of the 80’s as well as for the purpose of overcoming structural difficulties and the new demands of society, the police in the red/green governed state of Lower Saxony are to be subjected to a thorough reform. The goal agreed upon in the coalition negotiations provides for the creation of a “police force emphasizing an orientation toward basic rights and citizens (citizens police)”. Rolf Gössner, attorney and journalist, acted as a legal consultant to the Greens faction in the preliminary negotiations concerning a police reform act and highlights the most salient features of this new legislation.
Green Criminal Policy in the Swiss Canton of Zug
by Martin Herrnkind
Can traditional criminal policies be reformed? Hanspeter Uster, as the ’socialist green alternative‘ candidate elected to fill the position as Chief of Police and Justice in the Swiss canton of Zug since 1991, has attempted to prove that it can be done. The author, a member of the national working committee of critical Policemen and policewomen provides a portrait of the politician and his policies.