Germany: Asylum Seekers Make Demands
by Soeren Kern • October 23, 2015 at 5:00 am
"Human traffickers and the media in their home countries are making promises that do not correspond to reality." — Hans-Joachim Ulrich, regional refugee coordinator.
The migrants said they were angry they were being asked to sleep in a huge warehouse rather than in private apartments. Hamburg officials say there are no more vacant apartments in the city. "The city lied to us. We were shocked when we arrived here," said Syrian refugee Awad Arbaakeat.
"One of the men, who spoke broken German, said they [a family of asylum seekers from Syria] were not interested in viewing the property because I am a woman... I was taken aback. You want to help and then are sent away, unwanted in your own country." — Aline Kern, real estate agent.
"A constitutional state cannot allow itself to be blackmailed." — Marcel Huber, Bavarian politician.
"I man. You woman. I go first." — Muslim male with a full shopping cart at the supermarket.
An asylum seeker from Somalia successfully sued the German Agency for Migration and Refugees for taking too long to process his application -- 16 months. The agency said it currently has a backlog of 250,000 unprocessed applications.
Seventy percent of migrants from Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria who were offered apprenticeships fail to complete them. According to the director of the Munich Chamber of Trade, many young migrants believe apprenticeships are beneath them.
Groups of migrants across Germany have been launching hunger strikes, demanding more money, more comfortable beds, more hot water, more ethnic food, more recreational facilities, and their own homes. In Berlin (right), 900 police were needed to remove more than 400 migrants who had occupied an abandoned school because they no longer wanted to live in tents. Some migrants poured gasoline inside and threatened to set themselves on fire; others threatened to jump off the roof.
Asylum seekers are increasingly using tactics such as hunger strikes, lawsuits and threats of violence in efforts to force German authorities to comply with an ever-growing list of demands.
Many migrants, unhappy with living conditions in German refugee shelters, are demanding that they immediately be given their own homes or apartments. Others are angry that German bureaucrats are taking too long to process their asylum applications. Still others are upset over delays in obtaining social welfare payments.
Although most asylum seekers in Germany have a roof over their head, and receive three hot meals a day, as well as free clothing and healthcare, many are demanding: more money, more comfortable beds, more hot water, more ethnic food, more recreational facilities, more privacy — and, of course, their own homes.