news_asylum seekers_19052017

New legislation approved

Berlin (dpa) - The German parliament has passed legislation making it easier to deport failed asylum seekers and monitor those deemed dangerous in a move that has been slammed by opposition parties and rights groups as an assault on the rights of refugees. In legislation passed by the Bundestag late Thursday, German authorities will be able to detain migrants due for deportation for 10 days rather than four, and monitor by ankle bracelet those deemed willing and able to commit terrorist attacks.

The legislation also restricts freedom of movement for all failed asylum seekers. It grants the federal refugee agency BAMF and other government bodies more leeway to use and share data retrieved from migrants' mobile phones. Refugee organization Pro Asyl criticized the measures, saying that they robbed refugees of their right to privacy. Defending the move, Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere referred to the new measures as "a conclusion of efforts to tighten asylum laws in this legislative period."

The measures were decided partly as a response to a truck attack in Berlin in December in which 12 people were killed. Though attacker Anis Amri's asylum request had failed and he was under surveillance by police, authorities failed to deport him.