Hundreds of Afghan asylum seekers on Tuesday protested against Germany’s changeable refugee law, calling for better measures to shelter and take them in.
With the lack of unity being an issue, even open-door countries are changing their tune as hundreds of thousands of refugees continue to pour into Europe.
Before last week’s terrorist attacks in Paris, Germany had already announced it was re-enforcing its suspension of the so-called Dublin Regulations which, in theory, means even Syrians who enter from other European countries could be deported.
Asylum seekers are confused and fearful, and say laws are changing fast and they’re being left in the dark.
A demonstration in Berlin was organized by 39-year-old Afghan asylum seeker Ahmed Fahid, who says his family was caught on route in Iran and sent home. Fahid worries he may also be repatriated.
“I heard some things about how Germany wants to deport Afghans back to their countries of origin because it’s on Facebook and the Internet. I heard that Germany and Afghanistan have made an agreement to send us back even though we’re in danger in Afghanistan,” he said.
Even legal professionals are struggling to keep up with the pace of change. Thirty-year-old lawyer Anya Patel set up a make-shift legal center across the road from the protests in Berlin and is well aware of the concerns of the aslyum seekers.
“They are also asking ‘is it possible to bring my family?’. And they are very concerned it won’t be possible in a couple of months or even a couple of weeks any more,” said Patel.
Their fears aren’t unfounded – Denmark says refugees will now have to wait three years before they can bring their families. Germany is tightening rules too.
The Interior Ministry says only those who’ve already registered for asylum in another European country will be sent home. Otherwise, they won’t be stopped from entering and won’t be prevented from passing through.
Germany’s Interior Minister Thomas De Maizieres has come under fire with colleagues accusing him of acting unilaterally. Some even believe he has acted without approval from Chancellor Angela Merkel.
As G20 leaders met in Turkey on Sunday and Monday, dealing with the refugee crisis will remain a top priority.