Radio interview with Prof. Dr. Sabine Hess on the recent deportation bill of the German government

What are the benefits of Faeser’s legislative package?

On October 26, 2023, Sabine Hess spoke to Bremen Zwei about a new legislative package that was passed in the German Bundestag in mid-October.

A new populist debate about increasing deportations has been going on in Germany since the early summer of 2023. This debate began with the narrative of overburdening local authorities and intensified further in the context of the repressive debates against the Palestinian community in Germany in the context of the latest escalation of war in Israel/Palestine. The debate has now escalated to such an extent that Chancellor Olaf Scholz is calling for deportations “en masse”. The new “law to improve repatriation” is now supposed to provide answers to this.

In the interview, Prof. Dr. Sabine Hess explains the inefficiency of the “Return Improvement Act” while at the same time seriously violating fundamental rights and freedoms.

Among other things, the law extends the duration of detention pending deportation and expands the authority of the police to conduct searches and carry out deportations. This means that not only the room or home of the person threatened with deportation can be searched, but also the entire (mass-) accommodation if necessary. In addition, the legalization of the controversial screening of data carriers such as cell phones will further encroach on fundamental rights. Sabine Hess criticizes in the interview that this law creates a climate of fear.

Even the Ministry of the Interior assumes that the number of people deported will only increase by 600, which would not even begin to change the supposed overload problems. While the high number of supposedly deportable persons is constantly politicized, a closer look at the figures shows that the number of deportable persons is just 20,000. Even some of these people cannot be deported for organizational or humanitarian reasons. The new law, including the current discourse, therefore serves primarily to send a signal of state sovereignty through the intimidation and curtailment of fundamental rights.

The legislative package is fueling a racist discourse that seeks to portray the restriction of fundamental rights of (irregular) migrants as security and order.


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