The German parliament passed a controversial law on Friday to toughen asylum rules and swiftly deport failed asylum seekers.
German lawmakers passed the “Orderly Return Law” 372 votes to 159, with 111 abstentions. Majority of lawmakers from Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU/CSU) and its coalition partner Social Democratic Party (SPD) voted in favor of the bill.
Under the new legislation, failed asylum seekers unable to prove their identity will no longer be eligible for various financial or social security benefits.
Rejected asylum seekers who made false statements about their identity or their country of origin would be kept in preparatory detention before being sent back to their home countries.
The law allows authorities to keep rejected asylum seekers facing deportation in regular prisons but separated from the prisoners.
The opposition Green Party have strongly opposed the legislation.
“This is a black day for liberal democracy,” Green Party lawmaker Filiz Polat said, stressing that the measures included in the legislation were a violation of the constitution and the EU law.
Last year, German authorities failed to send back around 31,000 rejected asylum seekers, as their identity could not be established beyond a doubt. Some of them lacked travel document, and others disappeared from the Interior Ministry radar./aa