When people are deported to their home countries at BER Airport, they are usually there: Two deportation observers from the welfare organizations who take a look at the often tense situation and are supposed to act as mediators if necessary. Last week, the Berlin-Brandenburg Deportation Monitoring Forum presented its report for 2020 and 2021.

According to the Forum, there were around 30 percent fewer deportations from BER Airport in 2020 and 2021 than in 2019, mainly because of the corona pandemic. In both years, a total of 2,670 people were deported from BER and previously from the old Schönefeld Airport and Tegel deported. The deportation observers, who have been working full-time since 2021, have accompanied 44 of the 56 collective deportations and 102 individual measures on scheduled flights.

For the Federal Police, who carry out the deportations at BER, the result is initially positive: “In the majority of all deportations observed, no special incidents occurred.”

However, the observers also noted some problems. It was said that interpreters were not present at all deportation measures. On flights to the successor states of the former Soviet Union, there were sometimes interpreters for Russian, but not for the language of the destination countries, such as Moldovan or Kazakh.

The “leading state authorities”, i.e. the authorities responsible for deportation in the states of Berlin and Brandenburg, are to be responsible for the use of the interpreters. What often remains unclear is what happens to people whose deportation fails at the last minute because of a court order, and who then end up penniless but with a lot of luggage at the airport.

When asked by this newspaper, Andrea Johlige, who is usually critical of the deportations, said: “The activity report shows that the efforts to make deportations more professional and to make them as less stressful as possible for those affected have led to positive changes. “

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However, the well-known problems of family separations, lack of language mediation, bondage and the use of physical force have still not been completely eliminated.

“Above all, additional mental stress on children and families must be avoided at all costs and families must not be separated,” said Johlige. In the future, it must be prevented that a young person stays behind alone in Germany, as happened in the case of a 16-year-old Armenian.