Horst Seehofer wants to create detention centers on the borders of Germany to detain migrants from the Balkan states and send them back swiftly.
Great idea. As I've pointed out on this blog ad nauseam, the mainstream German press is manipulating its readers by referring to all illegal immigrants to Germany as Flüchtlinge (refugees). That is factually false.
There are currently two main sources of illegal immigration into Germany.
The first of these are economic refugees from certain Balkan countries (Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Albania, Kosovo) and certain states on the Russian periphery. Their home countries aren't rich or particularly well-governed, but they are stable and not at war. This group makes up between 50 and 60% of current illegal immigration into Germany by land. The above graph shows that between January and March 2015, 61.6% of 'refugees' came from West Balkan countries.
By and large, they are immigrating illegally -- that is, without any legal right to remain on German territory for a long period (many can enter legally). Over 99% of them will never qualify for political asylum, because they are merely economic migrants -- people fleeing a relatively poor country to a richer one. They are not facing starvation or epidemics, they are merely facing a relative lack of promising economic opportunities. While their motives are understandable, economic migrants are not, and have never been recognized as refugees under international law. No country is obliged to accept or accommodate economic migrants. No country has ever or will ever do so, except for reasons of ethnic affinity (such as when Germany permitted ethnic Germans to immigrate from Russia).
The second group are people fleeing war, deadly persecution, and extreme hardship in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and a few other countries. These are about 50% of current immigration flows. Many of these people -- especially Middle Eastern Christians or Shiites facing genocide by ISIS or other extreme Islamic groups -- have a legitimate claim to political asylum in Germany. Almost all of them actually do get legal recognition as refugees and are awarded political asylum.
Seehofer is proposing changes to make rapid processing and deportation of migrants in the first group easier. This is not populism, it's not rabble-rousing, it's a good idea. Economic migrants in the first group have no legal right to be in Germany, and paying to house them while their frivolous asylum claims are processed is a waste of scarce resources. Currently, stories are circulating in Albania and Kosovo that Albanians are welcome (g) in Germany and will be allowed to stay if they can only get in, and that life is great up here in Germany. Of course, they aren't welcome, and have no legal right to stay. They should be detained humanely, fingerprinted and quickly deported. As large charter buses arrive back in Tirana and Prishtina, word will get around that Germany actually is beginning to enforce its humane and reasonable laws, and perhaps Albanians will set about working to improve conditions in their own homeland.
Migrants from the second group are genuine refugees. Germany and many other countries should offer these people political asylum and access to housing and support until the severe problems plaguing their homelands are resolved. This is both a moral and a legal obligation. Ensuring the swift and reliable deportation of illegal immigrants in the first group will free up vastly more resources to provide humane accommodation to refugees in the second group.
Once you clear up the confusion caused by the misleading labeling of all migrants as refugees, the reality becomes clearer, and a possible way out of the current horrible disaster of German immigration policy becomes clearer.