If Germany can’t deport a refugee back to the country they claim to be from, it gives financial incentives to other countries to take them in, a refugee organization claims. It is a grim picture. After years of waiting on an asylum application and exhausting their various appeal processes, an asylum seeker is put into a plane back to Africa. But the country he lands in is not his own. His only attachment to it is that it is a country he travelled through to get to Europe. Sometimes given €50 by German authorities, sometimes given nothing at all, from here the migrant is left to go it alone. According to refugee rights organization Pro Asyl, this is a scenario that results from Germany attaching “Readmission Agreements” to development aid to African countries. This is in fact a Europe-wide practise, first implemented by Spain. But this isn’t all. If Germany can’t deport someone because they can’t confirm his country of origin, they will pay a third country to “confirm” his nationality and issue him the necessary documentation. People who have been given deportation orders, but whose country of origin can’t be determined, are sent to mass meetings with delegates from embassies of countries it would be legally admissible to send them back to. In 2014, 50 of these meetings took place with representatives from 18 different African countries and 720 asylum seekers were ordered to attend, meaning that at each around ten people were interviewed. Germany pays the embassies of these countries for the time they take to perform this service. But embassies receive a further sum if they grant the asylum seeker the appropriate documentation – a so-called “emergency travel certificate” – so that Germany can within days order the person to pack their bags and put them on a plane.
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