Germany’s judicial system is being flooded with requests from migrants who want asylum — so much so that legal watchers are warning: the system is about to collapse under the weight of all the petitions.
Blame Angela Merkel. She’s the one who’s let in so many migrants and refugees, despite concerns of citizens who say the country can’t handle all the demands.
The chicken’s coming home to roost. Not only is Germany’s culture faced a dramatic shift from the mostly Muslim migrants. But now courts are suffering.
A new report reveals that lawsuits have completely overwhelmed the judicial system.
The legal suits are filed after migrants are granted “subsidiary protection” (a temporary status) by German legal authorities. Their protected status gives them a platform from which to sue and file appeals on their immigration status.
Many of these migrants are seeking what’s known as “subsidiary protection,” meaning they can stay for three years but then have to petition for longer stays.
And the fact they’re returning to court is just adding to the work load.
The Washington Free Beacon has the story:
Those with subsidiary protection status can stay in Germany for up to three years, but do not have the right to reunify with family.
Two-thirds of cases in Berlin’s administrative court are from asylum seekers, as 250,000 appeals are pending across the country Germany.
“This will paralyze us for years,” a judge told Berlin newspaper Der Tagesspiegel concerning the build up of lawsuits.
In 2015, German Chancellor Angela Merkel took an especially liberal line in welcoming refugees. But when the country was shaken by terror attacks, including one on a Christmas market by a Tunisian asylum-seeker, concerns about the German open-door policy led to tighter regulations.
German courts, however, have disagreed with German immigration officials’ judgements the vast majority of the time, finding in favor of 90 percent of Syrians who sue for asylum. Some hail this proportion as a human rights victory.
“The courts are cleaning up the mess,” University of Hamburg law professor Nora Markard said. “The success rate tells us how important judicial review is — and how important it is for people to have legal representation.”
Geneva Convention guidelines define a refugee as someone with “a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion.” When Germany’s migration office puts people in subsidiary protection rather than refugee status, it does so based on the belief that they are not facing political oppression in their home country.
The strain on German courts is likely to continue giving the country problems. Robert Seegmüller, chair of the Association of German Administrative Law Judges, said that the volume of asylum cases is bringing the system toward a crisis.
“The situation is dramatic for administrative courts,” Seegmüller told publishing group Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland. “We are now completely stretched to our limits.”
He said that having 250,000 cases pending is unsustainable.
“The administrative court system cannot endure such a figure in the long run,” Seegmüller said. “At some point, everything will collapse.”
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