27.07.2022, Berlin: Katja Kipping (Die Linke), Senatorin für Integration, Arbeit und Soziales in Berlin, spricht auf einer Pressekonferenz zu den Folgen des Rückzugs anderer Bundesländer aus dem EASY-Verteilsystem für Asylantragsstellende. Foto: Britta Pedersen/dpa +++ dpa-Bildfunk +++

Berlin’s integration senator Katja Kipping (left) has defended her appeal to the other federal states for a solidarity distribution of refugees. She told the Tagesspiegel on Thursday: “In the last few days, so many federal states have opted out of the system of refugee distribution that a domino effect has arisen. We had to ring the alarm bell now!” A failure of the distribution system hits Berlin particularly hard because, in relation to the size of the city, a particularly large number of refugees applied for the asylum process here. “We are therefore always a distribution country,” said Kipping.

The minutes of a conference of the federal states on the EASY system in Bochum in May show that Berlin was already in favor of at least the reasons for a blocking being disclosed. However, the majority of the federal states voted against giving the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) more influence and, if necessary, being able to end bans in order to avoid the domino effect criticized by Kipping. This was done in 2015 to save the system from collapsing.

Kipping put the first stage of an emergency plan drawn up in spring into effect on Wednesday because only a few of the approximately 26,500 accommodation places for refugees are still available. As a reason for the development, she also stated that most federal states had recently stopped accepting asylum seekers.

As a possible next step in the event that the situation does not improve, she held out the prospect of determining a “hazardous situation” as the second stage of the plan. Then the acquisition of ready-to-move-in accommodation could go faster, and the renting of hostels or hotels would then also be examined.

[More on the subject on T : Shortage of sleeping places for refugees in Berlin. Are the other federal states really letting the capital down?]

The Berlin Refugee Council criticized Kipping’s planned accommodation of refugees in a tent on the premises of the Ukraine arrival center in Tegel. Tents are unsuitable for accommodating people seeking protection, said the spokeswoman for the refugee council, Almaz Haile, on Thursday. She called for holiday homes and business apartments to be rented for refugees instead.

In addition, the Senate must allocate all vacant and vacant apartments in urban societies to people from collective accommodation. Refugees would have to receive a residence entitlement certificate (WBS). “Berlin reached a low point in the admission of asylum seekers with the use of the hangars of the disused Tempelhof Airport as accommodation for newly arriving refugees in the years 2016 to 2018,” Haile continued.

“It is more than disappointing that the Senate can’t think of anything better than accommodating people at former airports and in tents.” federal government. There is its own water and power supply, catering, a pharmacy, common rooms and also the possibility for office space.

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According to a spokesman for the State Office for Immigration (LEA), 18,000 people in Berlin are currently required to leave the country. How many of them live in the accommodations of the state of Berlin could not be clarified on Thursday. Foreigners who do not have a residence permit are considered to be required to leave the country – for example because their asylum application was rejected. For humanitarian reasons, however, they are often allowed to stay.

That’s called tolerance. A third of the people in the shelters are also people who have already successfully gone through the asylum process. However, they often cannot find any apartments in Berlin, which is why they can continue to stay there. (with dpa)