Germany plans to introduce ID cards for expats

29th September 2006, Comments 0 comments

29 September 2006, HAMBURG - Federal authorities said they planned to introduce German identity cards for resident aliens, similar to those already carried by all German citizens. At present, non-Germans use their passports stamped with German visas as identity documents. August Hanning, a state secretary at the federal interior ministry, told a Hamburg conference on digital commerce late Thursday that the planned computer-readable cards for Germans and non-Germans would contain photos and fingerprints. Ha

29 September 2006

HAMBURG - Federal authorities said they planned to introduce German identity cards for resident aliens, similar to those already carried by all German citizens. At present, non-Germans use their passports stamped with German visas as identity documents.

August Hanning, a state secretary at the federal interior ministry, told a Hamburg conference on digital commerce late Thursday that the planned computer-readable cards for Germans and non-Germans would contain photos and fingerprints.

Hanning said the European Union would issue a directive late this year or in early 2007 on electronic identity cards.

"We'll be among the first in Europe to put it into effect," he said. Current German ID cards only contain photos.

Germans generally take a relaxed view of their ID cards and do not always bother to carry them. Children under the age of 16 have none.

In a related development, teachers in the German port city of Hamburg say they are quietly educating in public schools hundreds of children whose families have sneaked into the country illegally and live in fear of discovery, according to newspaper reports Friday.

Like other industrialized countries, Germany has significant numbers of immigrants who have no visas, pay no taxes and receive no welfare benefits. It has not adopted the French practice of netting hundreds of people in stations and demanding they show identity.

The newspaper Hamburger Abendblatt said Hamburg education authorities had begun collecting the names and nationalities of all children in city schools. Police would be able to use the lists to track down families who had no residence permits.

Teacher and parent groups appealed for the information to be sealed. They warned that the state-wide roll would deter illegal migrants from educating their children, who might remain illiterate and create mischief.

Teachers and principals said they were knowingly "bending" the law to school hundreds of children who had no right to be in Germany.

DPA with Expatica

Subject: German news

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