Several Senegambians deported as Europe amends asylum law

Wednesday, August 07, 2019

In the wake of exceptional and unprecedented immigration debates across Europe, many EU countries have reluctantly amended immigration and asylum rules prompting the deportation of hundreds of West Africans including Senegambians.

The rapid emergence, expansion and gain of the far right as well as anti-immigration parties throughout the continent resulted in many States with no other choice but to change immigration rules and regulations.

The Point learnt that in July alone, over two thousand failed asylum seekers were deported from Germany including dozens of West Africans. Right groups who criticized the deportations noted that there ‘‘was little or no time’’ to present a proper defence thus violating the law.

On the other hand, the authorities strongly contested that asylum seekers went through the proper proceedings and each of them had his or her day in court. Following the exhaustion of their appeals, deportations were ‘‘verified and approved’’.

Senegambians who spoke to this correspondent said many got scared and went underground. Consequently, they are currently declared ‘‘illegal migrants liable for deportation’.

Germany, a safe haven for thousands of refugees fleeing persecution and human rights violations as well as those frantically searching for greener pastures recently made momentous and significant steps in that regard.

The country Cabinet did not only toughen immigration rules but also deported asylum seekers as never seen before. It also agreed that the security services could now deport migrants who ‘‘commit crimes’’.

The German government had earlier accepted to set the ‘‘Asylum Package II’’ which would accelerate the asylum application process. It involved a ‘‘two year ban on family reunification’’ as well as the exclusion of certain countries from its asylum lists.

The controversial measures which also included housing asylum seekers in ‘‘special facilities to speed their application’’ was hurriedly submitted to Parliament. The country’s cabinet also approved a contribution request of 10 Euros from the stipends of migrants as a contribution to cover their ‘‘integration cost’’.

Even though Chancellor Merkel refused to set a cap on the numbers of asylum seekers claiming that it was ‘‘unrealistic’’, she vowed for a ‘‘palpable reduction.

Furthermore Italy, Greece, Spain and the Netherlands where the far rights gained considerable powers both in Parliament and outside of Assembly had amended asylum polices in one way or the other.

 In the United Kingdom, even British residents who wish to naturalize are required to fulfill certain unique criteria. For instance they are obliged to be able to communicate in English (or Welsh or Scottish Gaelic) to an ‘‘acceptable degree’’.

Applicants should also have ‘‘sufficient knowledge’’ about life in the UK and are of good character and lived in the country for a minimum of three years prior to applying. They must also meet all the residence requirements.

The UK’s Home Office accordingly argued that it requires a fair, rational and comprehensive immigration policy. It also declared to support ‘’genuine’’ asylum seekers and refugees.

Author: Alhagie Mbye, The Point’s Europe Correspondent.