These are the cornerstones of a bill written by Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière (CDU), approved by the Merkel government, and extolled in a press conference this week:
Rapid expulsion from the Schengen area of all refugees without residence permits. Unlimited authority to search refugees’ mobile phones, in order to avoid the use of multiple identities as did the terrorists who attacked Berlin and Ansbach. Monitoring of 1,600 dangerous individuals by security services. And more than doubling of the maximum time of custody: from four to 10 days.
“The German executive’s policy always had two sides: Those in need of protection can remain with us; others must leave Germany and the Schengen area as soon as possible,” de Maizière said of the bill, supported by Merkel, who is very concerned about her decline in the polls. It’s yet another turn of the screw to block refugees from Europe. The new measures serve to “improve the application of obligatory repatriations,” according to de Maizière.