The asylum system in Austria is a lottery

Sebastian Kurz recently said that the asylum system must “be deported more, not less,” and if the Chancellor had the four young Afghans in mind, among other things, who are accused of making a teenager from Tulln submissive with drugs, raping him and living in Vienna Having killed, there is no doubt about it: the Chancellor is right. The ongoing dispute between ministries, asylum experts and authorities about why already issued deportation notices were not implemented in these cases is now filling volumes full of files and entire newspaper pages.

In the meantime, I am trying primarily to follow the statements made by Wilfried Embacher, who is a lawyer and asylum law expert. If I understand the complicated legal jargon correctly, he comes to the conclusion that the awkward amalgamation of competencies, the shifting of responsibilities, delayed notifications and obviously wrong decisions that are somewhere in the opaque fog between the Federal Office for Immigration and Asylum and the Federal Administrative Court got stuck, there is one thing in particular: excuses. The four Afghans could and should have been deported long ago.

Everyday, unknown victims of the asylum misery

You read a lot these days about deportations in Austria, which not only has to do with the current dispute and the alleged Afghan perpetrators, but also with almost everyday other fates, with small, unknown victims of the entire asylum misery. The “Child Welfare Commission” around the lawyer Irmgard Griss has just presented its report. This body was used as a kind of sedative pill after well-integrated schoolgirls from Armenia and Georgia were torn from their schools and their lives at the beginning of the year and deported with a large police presence, which had caused massive protests and a lot of incomprehension. Read more here.

The commission should examine "the importance of children's rights and the best interests of the child in decisions on the right to asylum and residence". Unsurprisingly, Griss and her colleagues came to the conclusion that there are no clear guidelines, that unaccompanied minors in particular often end up in a fateful lottery, and that in the case of deportations, the best interests of the child should be the focus, which unfortunately it is rarely do. Bitter enough.

Sometimes someone is allowed to stay - if there is enough resistance

But the lottery character is obvious even without a study: A friend of mine, who has been looking after an asylum seeker from Ghana since 2015, has been wrestling with the authorities for years because her daughter, who was separated from her mother while fleeing, is stranded alone in Egypt is unable to get a family reunification visa. She is unlucky. A 13-year-old Chechen man who was supposed to be deported with his grandfather a few days ago has now been given one last chance because he may be allowed to stay with an uncle. He might be lucky. A 33-year-old Afghans who had completed his bachelor's degree, who is about to complete his master's degree, who speaks fluent English and German, is now also threatened with deportation, as reported by Well-integrated craftsmen, waiters and trainees are deported. Sometimes someone is allowed to stay if there is enough resistance in the church.

Former Neos MP Sepp Schellhorn, who has just stepped down from politics, employed numerous asylum seekers in his hotels and had a lot of trouble with the authorities, can get very angry about the issue: he and friends and fellow politicians founded an initiative against this Asylum seekers are deported in the middle of their apprenticeship or immediately afterwards. The suggestion is 3 + 2: three years of apprenticeship, then two years of professional development. Makes sense right?

Oh yes, and then there is the decision of the Constitutional Court to overturn the work ban for asylum seekers that was issued in 2018 for formal reasons, which Labor Minister Martin Kocher immediately acknowledged with the information that everything will be ensured to a large extent it is. In the light of the complicated and frustrating mix of things, it seems to me to be the worst of all possibilities.

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