German immigration law faces fresh doubts

1st June 2004, Comments 0 comments

1 June 2004 , BERLIN – Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's immigration reforms are again hanging in the balance after key leaders demanded that the government beef up the security measures of its planned legislation following a botched attempt to track down a radical Turkish Islamist facing deportation.

1 June 2004

BERLIN – Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's immigration reforms are again hanging in the balance after key leaders demanded that the government beef up the security measures of its planned legislation following a botched attempt to track down a radical Turkish Islamist facing deportation.

Metin Kaplan, known as the "Caliph of Cologne", reported to police in Cologne in the early hours Monday under the terms allowing him to stay in the city pending judicial proceedings on his possible expulsion from Germany.

The case involving Kaplan came after Schroeder and the conservative-led opposition, including Christian Democrat leader Angela Merkel and Christian Social Union chief Edmund Stoiber hammered out a consensus over the government's new immigration laws, which will open up Germany's labour market to foreign workers.

But in the wake of Kaplan's disappearance, Stoiber, who is also premier of Bavaria, told a German newspaper that he would only sign an immigration law "when hate-preachers like Kaplan would in future face shorter trials and when such people can be deported."


Kaplan had triggered a police search after a court ruling last week allowing his expulsion to Turkey. But the arrest warrant was lifted a day later after another court ruling enabled Kaplan to stay in Germany for two months pending an appeal.

He faces treason charges in Turkey. He has been fighting against his deportation, arguing that he would not receive a fair trial there. His legal counsel also maintains he is unfit to travel.

Kaplan's disappearance for two days and the ease with which he managed to give the police the slip caused political embarrassment in Germany.

His lawyer said he been in Cologne "on a visit" and had returned to his Cologne apartment Friday.

Debate about Schroeder's immigration reforms has dragged on for three years with the legislation been referred to a special parliamentary committee for negotiation by the opposition and government.

Under enormous pressure from German business, the CDU-led opposition agreed to the immigration reforms which contained security measures for dealing with terrorists that fell short of what the conservatives had originally proposed.

Now Stoiber has demanded that the laws include new law's provisions for round-the-clock surveillance of terror suspects.

Merkel has joined Stoiber in demanding that the legislation be strengthened resurrecting an opposition proposal for preventive detention of up to two years for terror suspects. This has not been included in the planned immigration legislation.

But Schroeder's Social Democrat and its junior coalition partner, the Greens have rejected the opposition's calls for tougher security provisions, insisting that the new law will facilitate deportations and tighten surveillance of terror suspects.

Subject: German news

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

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