By EMMANUEL YASHIM
BERLIN- Any migrant taken into custody in Germany pending deportation should have the right to a lawyer paid for by the state, aid organizations argued on Wednesday.
Those detained are not sufficiently familiar with the legal system to be able to effectively defend themselves against the order of detention pending deportation, according to a position paper published on Wednesday and signed by Pro Asyl, Amnesty International Germany, Caritas, and Diakonie, among many others.
The exact circumstances and legal situation of the cases are usually very complex, the signatories added.
Minors are often illegally detained due to incorrect age assessments, they said. Another obstacle is the often considerable language barrier.
Without legal representation, the persons concerned are “helplessly exposed to a procedure which they do not understand and therefore cannot influence, but as a result of which they lose their freedom,” the organisations said.
Under current law, detention pending deportation is inadmissible “if the purpose of the detention can be achieved by a milder means.”
Meanwhile, the centre-left government under Chancellor Olaf Scholz is planning to change the legal landscape with a bill for a so-called “right of opportunity to stay.”
This is intended to give migrants who are well integrated but have overstayed their legal right to stay the prospect of remaining in Germany legally in the longer term.
Part of this first migration package also extends the maximum period of detention pending deportation for accused criminals from three months to six months.
This is intended to give the authorities more time to prepare for deportation, such as clarifying identity, obtaining missing papers, and organising a seat on an aircraft. (dpa/NAN)