People who leave Germany voluntarily will receive additional financial aid until February 2018
People who leave Germany voluntarily will receive additional financial aid until February 2018

The German Government has offered an additional financial assistance to motivate asylum seekers to return to their countries voluntarily. What are the views of asylum seekers themselves about this incentive?

Although the German government has for years supported asylum seekers who voluntarily decide to return to their countries, the additional financial initiative announced by the German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere in early December may be an additional reason for the departure of asylum seekers who have come for economic reasons. The incentive is part of the program titled "Dein Land. Deine Zukunft. Jetzt!" ('Your country. Your future. Now!') and it set to run for three months until February 28, 2017.

An asylum seeker who voluntarily decides to return to his country will now receive up to 2,200 euros. Before, they would have received 1,200 euros per person. The additional financial incentive provides 1,000 euros more per person to help pay the rent or renovate a house when asylum seekers return home. For example, a family of three (a couple with one child) will receive up to 6,000 euros for leaving voluntarily.

"If you decide to return voluntarily until the end of February, you will be able to get help to secure accommodation during the first 12 months in your country," said Thomas de Maiziere. "This is to help them start a new life. "

"The Syrians will not return"

Syrian refugee Fadel Ali, who a few days ago received the right to temporary protection two years after his asylum application was rejected, told InfoMigrants that he did not think this offer would prompt asylum seekers to return. "Asylum seekers who came from countries torn apart by war paid more than this amount to come here. They may have reasons for insecurity in their country, as they crossed thousands of kilometers and tasted the scourge of war until they arrived here."

Ali, who lives with his wife and four children in the German city of Hagen, said the reward might be used in the case of asylum seekers who have no chance of obtaining residency. "These include some of the asylum seekers from Eastern European countries, some of the Maghreb countries, who have no other way to stay here and will be deported."

picture-alliance/dpa /P. Seeger

"Security and stability are more important than money"

For his part, the asylum seeker Adham Abu Mohammed told InfoMigrants that despite the refusal of his request for refuge with his family twice, this offer by the German government will not help in his case. "I came to Germany for safety and stability, and to believe in the future of my children. I came from the sectarian conflicts in Lebanon, so I can not go back no matter how much they pay."

According to Bild am Sonntag, the number of beneficiaries of the program to support the return of refugees reached around 8,639 people between February and October 2017.

"Freedom here is enough not to return"

Iraqi asylum seeker S.H. lives in the city of Dresden. He says: "I left the city of Najaf for security and sectarian reasons, and I can not go back," he told InfoMigrants. "I have a lawyer to challenge my asylum application and I hope to get a residency soon. "

S.H. is 30 years old and he follows the news to keep up-to-date with the latest decisions on asylum seekers and refugees. "I am doing my best to integrate, I have reached the high intermediate Level B2 of German and I want a training opportunity as a nurse, although I have not been authorized to work. "

The Iraqi youth is one of about 115,000 asylum seekers whose applications have been rejected. They live in Germany now, including some 80,000 who have been granted temporary residence rights until their applications are processed again and 35,000 deportation decisions having been made according to the Bild am Sonntag newspaper

"No one leaves home because of money"

As for Kurdish asylum seeker Jalal Agar, who came to Germany about a year and a half ago from Turkey, he told InfoMigrants that he believed that the money offered by the German government would not tempt any asylum seeker to return.

Anyone who likes to leave his country, his people and his property because of money. I escaped from the Turkish authorities after they started the military operation in our cities and arrested my family. I came here for safety only."

Reactions on social media

The financial reward and its impact on the decision to return asylum seekers has sparked a wave of controversy over social networking sites, with Ahmad Al-Nazzal on Facebook saying: "The amount is excellent, but the solution is not strategic, so it will have little effect. The amount is used when returning home to improve quality of life, and the other part goes towards the establishment of a small project benefiting families or the individual."

Syrian refugee Sami Sami wrote: "We will return without any financial exchange, and we say thank you to Germany for protecting us from Assad, but grant us a little patience until the war ends."

According to Samir Khourani of Iraq, "The reward will be useful in some cases only, but if Germany wants to stop immigration, it has to take more effective measures."

"This plan can work for the refugees from the Maghreb, but I do not think any refugees from Syria or Libya are ready to go back and lose their lives," he wrote on Facebook.

"Germany should carry out a pre-emptive measure and distribute 6,000 euros to every Syrian or African family in their own country, to save them the trouble and cost of the trip," another user, Ahmed Mohammed of Lebanon, commented on Facbook. 


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