Resident foreigners convicted by German courts are increasingly being expelled from the country irrespective of their residency status. This was revealed in the response of the federal government to a parliamentary enquiry of the Linke party in the Bundestag, the news agency epd has reported.
According to the report, 7,408 deportation orders were issued last year. In 2017, there were 7,374 of such orders while 5,049 convicted foreigners were expelled in 2016.
The increasing deportation of immigrant offenders has been attributed to the tightening of the law on expulsion (Ausweisungsrecht) in 2016, according to the government. In 2015, before the tightening of the expulsion law, there were 3,604 deportation orders
There’re currently 29,288 foreigners who have been issued with expulsion orders but who are yet to leave Germany. The report also reveals that individual federal states use the instrument of deportation to varying degrees: While in Baden-Württemberg 1,589 expulsions were issued last year, in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern there were only twelve.
Since the spring of 2016 when the tightening of the expulsion law went into effect, delinquent aliens have been more easily expelled. The reform of the law was a reaction to the sexual assault on women at the Cologne central train station in the New Year’s Eve 2015/2016. Since then, for example, a probationary sentence can trigger an expulsion from Germany.
The domestic spokeswoman for the Left party in the Bundestag, Ulla Jelpke, criticized the expulsion practice: “Expulsions represent an unjust double punishment, which affects only foreigners,” she said. Often people affected have built their lives in Germany. “This fatal development must be stopped,” demanded Jelpke.
In the first half of the current year, according to the information first reported by the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung (Friday, 23 August), 4,666 people have already received an expulsion order. Most expulsion orders were issued against citizens of Eastern European countries.
The federal government’s response shows that 16 per cent of the persons currently served expulsion orders have a permanent right of residence in Germany, 30 percent have a limited right of residence, another 23 percent a tolerated status. Almost 32 percent have no right of residence or are in the asylum procedure.
The Law on Facilitated Expulsion of Foreign Offenders entered into force on 17 March 2016. And it stipulates that crimes which endanger the life, physical integrity, sexual self-determination and property of the victims or resistance against enforcement officials, among other things, constitute a so-called grave expulsion offences if a foreigner has been sentenced to imprisonment or juvenile punishment (irrespective of the length of time or severity). This also applies if the sentence is suspended or on probation.