Thursday, September 28, 2023

Admission of refugees: Acceptance is declining

Admission of refugees: Acceptance is declining Article by dpa • 11 hours Geert Mackenroth (CDU), Commissioner for Foreigners, is waiting in the state parliament. The acceptance among Saxony's population for accepting refugees has fallen compared to last year. “The situation has now changed, it is dwindling day by day,” only less so for people from Ukraine, said Foreigners Commissioner Geert Mackenroth (CDU) on Thursday at the presentation of his 2022 annual report in Dresden. “All in all, you can say that integration is currently not in demand.” However, a “feel-good climate” is “in the Free State’s own interest in order to maintain our standard of living”. With a view to the current asylum debate, Mackenroth (CDU) called for pragmatic administrative decisions from the authorities when dealing with migrants and called for greater use of discretion. “We have to move away from traditional administration to a cooperative partner, an enabling authority.” A solution-oriented approach is necessary, also in view of the shortage of skilled workers, “within the framework of the legal regulations”. According to Mackenroth, those seeking protection who worked relieve the financial burden on society and improve the social climate. Many learned German with “amazing energy,” structured their lives, went to work “and sometimes have a positive effect in the companies,” he said. And the rejection of foreigners often disappears “suddenly” with personal encounters. In order to retain and attract workers, “a good reception climate” is still needed. He also sees “quite a bit of room for improvement” with the immigration authorities. Acceptance can also be increased by limiting immigration. “We not only have to treat those who are here decently, but also ensure that they enrich our job market.” And there could also be thought about relaxing the “strict rules” in the residence law and the possibility of exceptions “so that people can work temporarily or in certain shortage areas”. At the same time, Mackenroth campaigned for a new asylum compromise. Seeking bipartisan consensus could help, for example with a round table. “That’s a matter for the boss,” he said to Berlin. That would be better “than giving in little by little,” as is the case with border controls, which confuses the population. “Such a summit would be a good thing, but something has to come out of it afterwards.” In 2022, almost 60,000 refugees from Ukraine with a passport made up over half of all arrivals. According to Mackenroth, this led to overloading in immigration authorities. “You need a lot more staff.” Naturalization times of over a year are “not a nice calling card” for Saxony. And there is a trend to be transferred to other areas of administration. “The huge workload is a huge stress factor.” Mackenroth thanked the population for their “impressive” willingness to help. “But we notice that it slowly becomes tiring when there is no end in sight.” Questioning is normal. Half of the Ukrainian refugees work. The others either couldn't find a job or didn't want to, had language barriers or wanted to go back as quickly as possible. According to Mackenroth, half of the people who came to Saxony around 2015 are also employed subject to social security contributions. “It’s actually not a bad result, but a little more needs to be done.” According to the report, 297,596 people without German citizenship lived in Saxony in 2022. This corresponded to a share of the total population of 7.3 percent and was well below the national average (14.6 percent). In Dresden, Leipzig and Chemnitz it was between 10 and 13 percent, and in the ten districts it was between 3 and 6 percent. “Many are here for training or to work.”