Party positons in state election Asylum and refugee policy: What’s in the programs?
When CDU and SPD brokered their coalition-deal in 2011, a refugee-crisis wasn’t something people thought about. The parties have only been discussing the issue since 2015. Minister-President Reiner Haseloff advocated limiting the admission of refugees to Germany in October 2015. So far, he couldn’t get a majority for his proposal, though. In the wake of the state election on March 13, the Parties have on their positions in the debate.
How many refugees can Saxony-Anhalt take? Who is paying for their accommodation, their safety and integration? Who should be granted refuge and for what reasons? Does Germany need refugees to balance it’s lack of qualified employees? How we can people be successfully integrated into our society? Ever since mid-2015, the parties have been struggling and competing for solutions for the refugee crisis. Now they have written their positions into their programs for the state election on March 13.
Everyone, who is fleeing from war or persecution can find refuge in Germany, at least for some time. That’s the takeaway from the program of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) in Saxony-Anhalt. The CDU is also advocating a controlled immigration of workers whose skills and knowhow is needed. The party deems controlling and limiting the influx of migrants a problem, though.
Minister-President Reiner Haseloff is advocating a maximum limit-solution for the admission of refugees into Germany and into Saxony-Anhalt. The CDU wants mandatory quotas for the distribution of refugees within Germany and in Europe. Refugees, who are being denied the right to stay, should no longer be sent to the different municipalities, so that deportation can be centralized. Refugees, who are being sentenced by a court for committing crimes in Germany, should denied the right to stay.
The party is actively warning of so called parallel-societies and rejects the idea of a “leftist multiculturalist-dreamery”. Migrants should, according to the CDU, accommodate to a German “Leitkultur” and not the other way round.
The leftist party DIE LINKE stresses that refugee-policy’s task is to provide refuge for the people and not to refine seclusion. Therefore, the party rejects stricter laws, for the sole cause of determent.
DIE LINKE sees Saxony-Anhalt as an immigration-state in which integration into the society is one of the core issues of societal development. Die LINKE wants to develop a concept for admission and integration of refugees, together with municipalities, cities, counties and organizations. Its goal is that people in Saxony-Anhalt can live good lives and feel safe and become a part of the state.
DIE LINKE wants to decentralize the accommodation for refugees. They should be able to choose their residence freely in the municipalities. Besides that, the party wants to foster education of the children and adolescents. Women, girls and unaccompanied minors should be able to get special protection. In order to decrease the level of bureaucracy, the party wants to introduce an electronic health card for all refugees. Also, multilingualism among officials should be supported.
From a financial point of view, the federal government should increase its spending.
The Social Democratic Party’s sees migration as a challenge and an opportunity for Saxony-Anhalt. The state needs migration, in order to cope with its changing demographics and to meet the demands for trained workers. Therefor the SPD advocates a recognition of foreign qualifications and wants to foster foreign language training.
The party puts special emphasis on the conditions of arrival of refugees in Saxony-Anhalt. Their status should be clarified as quick as possible. Refugees should quickly be able to live in communities together with people from Saxony-Anhalt and should be given the opportunity to learn German as fast as possible, so they are able to find jobs. The SPD also advocates an electronic health card that gives refugees access to healthcare. They reject the concept of special camps for refugees that are to be deported quickly, for humanitarian reasons.
The SPD is advocating safe access to Europe and a just involvement of all EU-states in the accommodation of refugees.
Germany’s Green Party is emphasizing the fact that Germany has the responsibility for admitting refugees by international law. Saxony-Anhalt needs immigration, according to the party, to stay successful in the future. For the Green Party, there is no difference between good immigrants and bad ones.
To make Saxony-Anhalt more attractive for trained workers, the required minimum income for immigrants should be lowered and foreign qualifications should be recognized. The Green Party is also clearly pro double-citizenship and advocates increasing the admission-quota for refugees in Saxony-Anhalt.
Access to German-classes is an important prerequisite for integration, in the party’s eyes. It should be available from day one. Accommodation should be decentralized, an electronic health card should be introduced and after a set period of time, migrants should also be enfranchised in state and municipal elections. The Green Party also demands enough financial support for the municipalities, for them to fulfill their tasks.
The party wants to create a ministry of migration and integration.
The party “Alternative für Deutschland” stresses its adherence to the right for refuge, granted by the German constitution. At the same time, the party wants to put an end to “uncontrolled mass-immigration”. According to the AfD-program, the internationalization of many spheres of everyday life and a lack of courage towards a German “Leitkultur” weakens the society and endangers democracy.
The party wants to put an end to misuse of asylum and also demands an admission-quota for refugees. The AfD proposes several measures: The Schengen-Treaty should be suspended and border controls should be reintroduced. Asylum-applications should always be filed outside the EU. Until their status is cleared, refugees should be accommodated centrally. The AfD demands separate camps for people from the Balkans and wants to deport all criminal refugees immediately.
According to the AfD, to ensure the immigration of skilled workers into Saxony-Anhalt, special legislature is not necessary.
Integration is first and foremost a task for the immigrants and not for politics. Successful integration works via friends, family and work. The basis for integration, though, is a knowledge of the German language, according to the AfD. Sermons in religious communities should be held in german, except for the recitation of scripture.
The Free Democratic Party is adhering to the right for protection and refuge in the EU. They say, the protection of people is more important than long asylum procedures. The party also advocates an immigration legislature that focuses on the economic needs of Germany. People from civil war countries should be able to get refuge, without case-by-case-review. However, the FDP stresses that there is no right to choose the destination of flight freely. The list of safe countries of origin should be expanded.
All 28 member states of the EU should live up to their responsibilities for admitting refugees. The FDP wants to sanction those, who don’t. Economic refugees should be deported quickly.
The key to successful integration, for the FDP in their program, is learning the German language and the recognition German values like the German constitution, equality between men & women, freedom of expression and freedom of the press, division of powers, as well as the separation of state and religion.