Community association calls for quick work permits for refugees

As of: September 29, 2023 11:09 a.m

The Association of Cities and Municipalities is calling for refugees with prospects of staying to be given a work permit immediately. Work can make a significant contribution to integration.

The German Association of Cities and Municipalities (DStGB) calls for asylum seekers to be given a work permit relatively soon after their arrival if they have a chance of being recognized. “The DStGB advocates that refugees with the prospect of staying should be allowed to work from the start,” said managing director Gerd Landsberg to the newspapers of the Funke media group.

Work can make a significant contribution to integration, and the demand on the labor market is there. It is important to record refugees’ previous knowledge when registering.

“Pragmatic approaches are needed”

However, Landsberg is skeptical about the discussion about mandatory community service for asylum seekers. The expectations are “sometimes too high,” said Landsberg. “Capacities are limited here and the bureaucratic effort is high.” There are also insufficient sanction options for those who do not appear. “There is no need for symbolic politics, but rather pragmatic approaches to dealing with the refugees who are here and limiting the influx in the future.”

The SPD chairman Lars Klingbeil had shown himself willing to talk about the Union’s initiative to require asylum seekers to do community service during their procedure. Austria is already planning this. CSU boss Markus Söder has announced a corresponding program.

Dürr calls for an end to Cash payments

FDP parliamentary group leader Christian Dürr also spoke in the debate. He called for cash payments to refugees to be stopped. “The federal states could say from today: We will stop cash payments to refugees, we will only make payments in kind or payment cards,” said Dürr in ARD morning magazine. Then a “pull factor”, i.e. an incentive for refugees to come to Germany, would be eliminated.

Dürr appealed to the state leaders to commit to an end to cash payments to refugees by the Prime Minister’s Conference on November 6th. “This is not (Finance Minister) Christian Lindner’s money, but rather the people in Germany earned it,” explained the FDP MP. The federal government makes its financial contribution to caring for refugees, but the municipalities cannot be helped with money alone. “It’s a huge problem, simply throwing more money at it won’t work; the number of irregular migrants has to go down,” said Dürr.

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