The new German Interior Minister Mr. Horst Lorenz Seehofer has vowed that his office will increase deportations of rejected asylum-seekers from Germany.
Mr. Seehofer was speaking to the press after a visit to the Donauwört concentration [asylum] camp, a day after the incident which saw over 30 Gambian asylum seekers being detained over their immigration statuses.
Over 200-member police-troop descended on Donauworth town, in the Bayerische region (Munich) of Germany, where more than 300 Gambian migrants reside, conducting arrests and taking at least 30 into custody.
According to eyewitnesses, the “unfriendly police action” included assaults, when hound dogs and riot gear police raided the community on Tuesday afternoon in an operation that lasted hours into the evening last week.
In a statement released from the Bayerische state police after their operation in Donauwörth, they claimed the arrested individuals are being investigated for “breach of the peace, resistance to law enforcement officers, attempted dangerous assault and insults.”
“It came as a result of an attempt to deport one of our brothers to Italy last (Monday) night at about 3.30 a.m. We protested his taking away because it was not the right time for him to be sent away to Italy, according to a letter sent to him from the Foreign Office in Augsburg,” a resident there explained.
Due to that protest incident, the deportation effort of the Gambian migrant was postponed. However, the police reacted with massive raids the next afternoon, taking into custody at least 30.
Donauwört city has recently become a hot spot for West African migrants. Several attempts were reportedly made by the migrants to negotiate for better conditions of living just as other states in that country. The last of that was meeting held on Feb. 28, 2018.
In reaction to their demands, the state instead issued a directive, announcing further cuts to social benefits for the asylum seekers, including transportation to school and monthly allowances (pocket money).
Early this month, the city of Donauwört also became the scene of mass protests by asylum seekers, marching out of their asylum camp and dispersing into the city and elsewhere.
“We march out for a better place… that might be better than living without life and peace in Donauwört,” a protestor was quoted as saying, upon receiving the news about cuts on their benefits in that city.
“In Donauwört, we lack almost all the opportunities that other refugees in Germany enjoy as entitlements,” he added.
The marching refugees headed towards the train station. Upon their arrival there, they were stopped by police. Roads were blocked for some time, before trains were allowed to depart on a normal routine.
Meanwhile, the refugee crisis has become a big issue for the city residents at Donauworth; their Social Court has intervened in the crisis through the Refugee Council of Bayern, promising that the Social Welfare Office has reconsidered some refugees to reapply for their social benefits.
The fear factors for the high presence of refugees from West Africa, according to some analysts, are also related to the spread of the Islamic religion by the migrants.
The new Interior minister, a politician of the Christian Social Union in Bavaria (CSU) and the chairman of his party was also quoted as saying that Islam does not belong to Germany. “Germany is shaped by Christianity,” he stated.
From 2008 to 2018, Horst Lorenz Seehofer was minister president of Bavaria, and now serves as the German minister of Interior.
The Bavarian Refugee Council also views the police action against refugees as “massive intimidation attempt by the residents of Donauwörth.”
“The intervention of the police is a lack of real sense,” criticized Stephan Dünnwald, spokesman for the Bavarian Refugee Council.