Germany on Friday passed a controversial package of bills bringing major changes to the country’s asylum and immigration policy.
The package included the so-called “Geordnete-Rückkehr-Gesetz” or “Orderly Return Law” — which facilitates the deportation of failed asylum seekers and expands related powers of police and immigration authorities to “significantly increase” the proportion of successful deportations.
Approximately half of the planned 188,000 deportations from Germany since 2015 failed or were not carried out, according to interior ministry data.
The policy package also included measures to improve access to Germany’s labor market for skilled migrants. Migrants without asylum status who arrived before last summer will be able to stay for the time being if they have a job and speak German.
Interior Minister Horst Seehofer from the Christian Social Union, the Bavarian sister party of Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU), said this is a turning point in Germany’s migration policy and that this package creates a set of rules that respects humanity and order. He also underlined that the importance of granting foreign skilled workers better access to Germany’s labour market.