No restriction of family reunification for refugees!

[18. 2. 2016] The family organisations appeal to the Members of Parliament not to agree to the restrictions of family reunification as planned in the law called Asylpaket II. Children and Families will thus be forced to the dangerous flight themselves and a successful integration for those already accepted in Germany will be considerably more difficult. The unity of the families has to be secured, as it is stated by european law. The new asylum act that, tomorrow, will be discussed in the Bundestag, proposes a suspension period for the family reunification of two years for refugees with a so called “subsidiary protection”.

‘The family ties have to be protected and strengthened’, says Christel Riemann-Hanewinckel, president of AGF, ‘this is a right which also applies to refugees. It is not acceptable that the number of refugees coming to Germany shall be reduced at the expense of families and children.’

Already today, the application process takes very long, so the time until family reunification will be completed is supposed to be far longer then the proposed suspension period of two years. Refugees with a subsidiary protection status are facing war or torture in their home country, so they will mostly stay in their destination country for an indefinite period. The restriction of their right to family reunification will result in more children and women starting the dangerous flight themselves. Besides, it will hinder the inclusion of refugees. Therefore, AGF claims an unlimited family and marital life also for refugees with subsidiary protection.

The possibility for family members to join refugees with subsidiary protection was introduced in August 2015 only, due to european legislation acts. Family members to join are only spouses and minor children, as well as, already before that new regulation, the parents of minor refugees. Reliable data on the overall number of people coming to Germany via family reunification of refugees are not available. But from January 2014 to September 2015, only 18.400 people joined refugees from Syria.

The family organisations of AGF additionally claim general attention for family ties of refugees. Therefore, refugee families should be sheltered in own housings as soon as possible and the children have to be enabled to a daily life suitable for children, including the attendance of kindergartens and schools. Refugees who already have relatives in Germany should be sheltered in an area nearby.

AGF refuses the expansion of deterrent and inhuman measures against refugees. 

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