Brandenburg: Criticism of Tightening Border Controls with Poland to Limit Immigration

Over the past months, the Federal Police has examined vehicles coming from Poland, causing traffic jams on the Oder Bridge in Frankfurt, as well as on the highways near Świjko and Klein Bademosl. This forces Polish health sector workers and craftsmen who come to work in Berlin and Brandenburg to move early to reach their work on time, as well as affecting students.

These strict measures are due to the request from Michael Stübgen, Minister of the Interior of Brandenburg, to Nancy Weisser, Minister of the Federal Interior, to limit the number of refugees coming from Poland, and to arrest more smugglers.

The parliamentary group of the Green Party has prepared a 24-page report on this matter, and presented it to the Parliament. According to sociologist, Marcus Engler of the Institute for Integration and Migration Research that we cannot rule out that controlling the borders will have the desired effect; however, the available statistics are not sufficient to prove the success of such measures.

Engler argues that asylum policy decisions, such as payment cards, social benefits, and border controls, which aim to reduce asylum, have not yet proven to be achieving the desired goals, and that they need to obtain detailed data and conduct an assessment over a long period, as the migration and asylum movement is very complex.

Sarah Damos, a member of the state parliament from the Green Party, stated that she feels uneasy about the rapid reports of success related to the tightened border control measures. She also said that one of the weaknesses of these reports is that they count entries and login attempts, not people, where some refugees make many failed attempts to cross the border from Poland before they succeed. Damos stated that the Federal Police also transfers the arrested to initial reception centers where they can apply for asylum., and that realistically the number of asylum applications increased after the imposition of border controls, we well as 20 border crossings between Poland and Brandenburg, of which only three are subject to supervision.

Damos believes that unscrupulous smuggling gangs are already a problem, as they cram refugees into transport trucks, endangering the lives of refugees. However, the police does not differentiate between smuggling gangs and well-intentioned people who accompany a refugee by car or on foot without taking money. Damos believes that the border controls are illegal and inappropriate, and should be abolished after the end of the European Football Championship.

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