Bremen Migration Scandal is 'Just Tip of Iceberg'– Prof of Int'l Politics

© AFP 2023 / BERND WUESTNECKMigrants go to the ferry terminal to buy tickets at the port of Rostock, northeastern Germany
Migrants go to the ferry terminal to buy tickets at the port of Rostock, northeastern Germany - Sputnik International
The Bremen Bureau of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees grabbed the spotlight after it had allegedly granted asylum to hordes of refugees without properly reviewing their cases. Gerald Schneider, professor of international politics at the University of Konstanz and executive editor of European Union Politics, has given his take on this.

Sputnik: What is your take on the scandal surrounding the BAMF (Federal Office for Migration and Refugees) in Germany? Considering that asylum seekers have been illegally accepted for four years, how could it have happened especially since the issue of migration is so acute in Germany?

Gerald Schneider: The case in Bremen is just a tip of the iceberg; the problem run much deeper than that. I published an article one year ago together with a master’s students here at the University of Konstanz and we discovered that asylum recognition is unequally applied throughout Germany.

Policemen patrol on the market place in front of the city hall of Bremen, northwestern Germany, on February 28, 2015. Bremen police have specifically warned about Islamic terrorists at large in the Hanseatic city. - Sputnik International
German Migration Office in Bremen Halts Asylum Decisions Until Graft Probe Ends

So, what we see are systematic differences between German lands. Some have high recognition rates like Bremen, but other ones have really low recognition rates, like Saxony. So, what we have in essence is cases of systematic positive discrimination like Bremen, but we also have cases of negative discrimination like some of the other states.

The political discussion now focuses largely on Bremen, which is understandable, but we should not forget that the chance of asylum seekers to get recognized as refugees is very unequal and that we also have systematic cases of negative discrimination.

Sputnik: I don’t understand how could it have happened that unequally applied asylum could be taking place for years? Are there no bodies that are actually installed to oversee this? 

Gerald Schneider: The Federal Office of Migration and Refugees is known to be badly run, insufficiently controlled, but this is happening in the centers where these decisions are made.

In this May 21, 2016 picture police and refugees stand near a refugee shelter in Bielefeld, Germany - Sputnik International
50 Refugees Attack Police Officers at Migrant Center in Dresden

These centers are spread out all over the country, and the decision makers decide largely in isolation; and it’s quite natural that they are influenced by the local political and socio-economic climate, which is much more open towards foreigners, for instance in Bremen, but a little bit more hostile in some lands like Saxony, which I mentioned beforehand.

Sputnik: I see, so it varies from region to region in the country.  

Gerald Schneider: Exactly. But there is a federal law, a federal obligation, to treat these asylum seekers equally. Such differences should not exist on a systematic level. 

Migrants arrive at the first registration point for asylum seekers in Erding near Munich, southern Germany, on November 15, 2016 - Sputnik International
German Politician on 'Anchor Camps' for Refugees: 'Government Lost Control'

Sputnik: Are the authorities aware of this?

Gerald Schneider: The authorities are aware of this. It’s been one year since our study was published. There were several ‘interventions’ in the German Bundestag, the federal parliament, which cited out study.

The Federal Office of Migration and Refugees denied that these differences are of a systematic nature, but now they acknowledge that these differences exist, and they make now one year too late, in my opinion, this kind of examination and they dig deep into the data.

The views and opinions expressed by the speaker do not necessarily reflect Sputnik's position.

READ MORE: Merkel Receives Catholic Award for Helping Refugees, Criticizes Trump

To participate in the discussion
log in or register
Заголовок открываемого материала