Asylum policy: Kretschmann wants to send violent refugees "into the pampas"

Baden-Württemberg's prime minister from the Greens speaks of the danger of "young men's hordes". Top representatives of his party are irritated by the choice of words.


    The discussion about dealing with violent refugees is becoming increasingly acute. Four weeks ago in Freiburg, an 18-year-old woman was allegedly raped by seven Syrians and a German, they are said to have passed next to the entrance to a nightclub in the midst of a commercial park on the woman. After two possible other perpetrators is searched. Baden-Württemberg's Prime Minister Winfried Kretschmann is now looking to young people in Germany seeking asylum. And this age group has always commits much of the crime.


    "To put it bluntly, the most dangerous thing that human evolution has produced is young male hordes – such testosterone-driven groups can always do evil – the rape in Freiburg is a bad example," says Kretschmann in an interview with Heilbronner Stimme and Mannheimer Morgen. If it is not individuals who commit a crime, but a group, that is problematic. In his view, one must separate such groups. In addition, the Green politician pleads to keep the so-called "bad luck" of big cities. They are attractive because of their anonymity and because they would meet like-minded people there. "The thought of sending some to the pampas is not wrong," says Kretschmann.

"A Syrian is not rated differently than a Frenchman"
                An arrest warrant had been issued against the main suspect in the Freiburg rape case, but the man was at large. How can that be? A judge explains the background.
                Interview by Nora Reinhardt
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Top representatives of his party give the prime minister in principle right, however, complain about his wording. "I would have put it another way, but in the matter emphasizes Kretschmann, for what we Greens long quarrel," said party leader Annalena Baerbock on the sidelines of the party congress in Leipzig. There are structures that promote violence. "That's why we've always said that there must be decentralized housing for asylum seekers, which is the best prevention." Anton Hofreiter, leader of the Greens in the Bundestag, described Kretschmann's expression as "problematic, but Winfried Kretschmann sums it up, why the anchor centers of Interior Minister Seehofer and CDU / CSU are not only inhuman, but cause a security problem." In the anchor centers all asylum seekers should be accommodated until it is decided whether they may stay in Germany or not.


    "Small group of people" with intensive offenders


    With his comments Winfried Kretschmann supports his party colleague Boris Palmer. Tübingen's Lord Mayor recently demanded several times to accommodate asylum seekers ready for violence in "safe state facilities" and to restrict their freedom of movement there. These facilities should be located in "remote areas where there is no nighttime public transport connection".


    Where exactly the pampas should lie in Baden-Württemberg, the two Green politicians have not yet defined. Presumably for the reason that it would be expected from the affected area significant reservations against such plans. The public statements, especially after the crime in Freiburg but a nerve: What to do with violent refugees? How do the state and society deal with the fact that many refugees now travel alone?


    In 2015, a large part of the refugees came from Syria, many families were among them. Your chance to get asylum in Germany and to catch up with relatives in case of doubt was very good. The presumed culprit in Freiburg also came to Germany through a family reunification. In the meantime, the composition has changed significantly in the initial reception centers of the countries. Many refugees now come from sub-Saharan African countries, most of them are young men. Their recognition rate is very low, most threatens the return to Italy, Spain or Greece – or the expulsion to the home country. Their families can not catch up with them. The people wait in the accommodations, are not allowed to work and have little perspective. Refugee helpers complain that the atmosphere in the homes is deteriorating. That could lead to a drifting of the persons concerned into the criminality.


    In Freiburg, a group of probably from Gambia originating men near the main station is almost openly with drugs. The number of sexual offenses in the city is rising, the police said, including the proportion of non-German perpetrators. The First Mayor Ulrich von Kirchbach of the SPD speaks of a "small group of people" among the migrants, in which, however, were "intensive offenders". Drug offenses, assault, thefts, sexual offenses. In the county town of Sigmaringen, the authorities have been fighting for some time against rising crime rates, especially by asylum seekers from the State Reception Center (Lea). The council even advised on launching an image campaign to rebuild the city's image. That did not materialize, instead the police intensified their efforts and spoke recently of first successes. In the Ostalb district, refugee helpers in the Lea Ellwangen report that a mood change is imminent in the city following a failed deportation of a Togo with subsequent police raids. Whether the local council should agree to extend the Lea contract with county and country in the near future, is highly controversial.


    All parties agree to try harder against the small proportion of violent refugees. Baden-Württemberg's Interior Minister Thomas Strobl (CDU) demanded that the deportation stop be checked for Syria. Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, who seeks to chair the CDU, advocates lifelong entry bans on migrants who have committed serious violent crimes. However, Kretschmann pointed out that asylum-seekers, like all other persons, can not be arrested unless they commit a serious crime or have accumulated a lot. The suspected main culprit in Freiburg had previously noticed several times, there was even an arrest warrant against him, but the police had not enforced fast enough to prevent the crime on the 18-year-old woman. Kretschmann would now like to send such people far earlier to the "Pampa". The demand for faster and more consistent deportation is also omnipresent.


    Authorities suffer from a lack of staff


    Greens and liberal politicians, such as the non-party Mayor of Freiburg Martin Horn, are now addressing the topic of "crime among refugees" publicly and with a sharper language. Also, in order to avoid the impression that they would conceal something there. This accusation came from right-wing populist side after the arrival of many refugees in 2015 and especially after the Cologne New Year's Eve 2015/16, when it came at the central station to a variety of sexual violence by young migrants.


    At present, however, it is becoming apparent in many places that the authorities often do not have enough people to implement a tougher approach. Freiburg's police, for example, have accumulated more than 100,000 overtime hours. Public prosecutors sometimes do not know which negotiations they need to take next, because there are so many. The staff are also missing from the prison. Behind closed doors it says: You can not bake people. One would like to hire, but there are simply no applicants.


    On the other hand, official bodies and also the leaders of refugee accommodation emphasize that the vast majority of refugees are law-abiding and trying to integrate themselves into Germany. Violent acts such as those in Freiburg are also a "super boom" for the other refugees, says Katja Niethammer, head of the Office for Migration and Integration of the City of Freiburg. "We are already afraid that now male refugees will be met with great distrust." In addition, Niethammer emphasized in an interview with the SZ that the integration of migrants in Freiburg is actually going very well, many could be given jobs. "It would be a shame if all the good results are forgotten now."

Freiburg: The unsettled city
                        Two years ago, a student was murdered in Freiburg, now at least eight men have raped a woman. There one asks oneself now: What goes wrong?
                    By Thomas Hummel