Migrants to Be Immune from Deportation If They Witness 'Right-Wing' Crime Under Proposals
The state parliament became the first in Germany to offer migrant victims of crime extra rights last year following a rise in recorded attacks and the new measure is now being pushed by the Ministry of the Interior.
A statement from the ministry said: “In addition to consistently preventing and prosecuting criminal offences, special protection of the victims and special care are necessary if the victims are people of foreign origin.”
Supporters of the move argue new arrivals are uniquely vulnerable without support networks in Germany and deportation could make their lives harder.
The regional parliament also agreed “to ask the regional government to make sure that victims of right-wing violent crimes are offered the possibility of being issued with residence permits and tolerances”.
Migrants who commit a crime, or share responsibility for a violent incident when in Germany, will be exempt from the proposed new rule.
A resolution issued by the parliament in April 2016, in response to rising numbers of reported hate crimes, said “the victims of racist violent acts are migrant women as well as refugees” and argued that “such offences would be particularly difficult if their stay in the Federal Republic is unsecured”.
According to the decree, such crimes in Brandenburg increased by 23 per cent in 2015 – the year the Chancellor Angela Merkel opened Germany’s borders to more than 1.1million migrants.
The populist, anti-immigration Alternative for Germany (AfD) party has criticised the new proposed policy.
The AfD has seen a surge in support over the past 12 months as Germany tries to come to terms with the impact of Mr Merkel's migrant policy.