Germany introduced a new bill Wednesday that will reduce public benefits and make the country less attractive to refugees.
The country is desperate to reduce its influx of migrants and deport rejected asylum seekers as fast as possible. The new measures to the welfare system are expected to pass the parliament with little objection.
The country also recently added Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia to its list of “safe countries” to make it harder for their citizens to be granted asylum in Germany. Applicants from safe countries, as well as those who have been rejected from asylum or are considered a danger to society, will have to stay in official accommodation where authorities can keep track of them.
The appeals process for rejected applicants will be cut to a maximum of three weeks to get deportations underway faster. Germany is also hoping to slash social handouts for these individuals, as 350,000 are expected to claim unemployment benefits when they become eligible later this year.
Thousands of migrants have already decided to voluntarily leave and go back to Syria. The International Organization for Migration accommodated 37,220 people who decided to go home in 2015 — that number is likely much higher if the people who willingly left without the organization’s help were counted.
A common reason for returning home is the realization that it will take years, if not decades, to join the labor market in Germany due to language difficulties. Refugees can only claim $546 per month in benefits while their applications get processed.
Contrary to U.S. rules, refugees in most European countries are eligible for benefits as soon as they apply for asylum.
“In this country you don’t get any benefits,” Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, told The Daily Caller News Foundation in an interview last week. “You’re not allowed to work and you don’t get any welfare, so we actually have a tighter position on that.”
If an application is still pending after six months, refugees in the U.S. can claim welfare benefits. When they are fully processed, refugees can then claim welfare and work at the same time, which isn’t possible in most European countries.
“If after six months your case hasn’t been decided, you get authorization to work, but you still don’t get welfare,” Krikorian told TheDCNF. “It’s only when you receive asylum that you become eligible for welfare.”
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