Published: Thu, April 19, 2018
Research | By Jody Lindsey

Austria to demand refugees' cash & phones under govt initiative

Austria to demand refugees' cash & phones under govt initiative

The Austrian cabinet has also approved a bill enabling authorities to confiscate refugees' money and phones as a part of the government's efforts to deal with illegal migration.

And thirdly, it will accelerate the process of deportation of refugees convicted of crimes.

The Minister of the interior Herbert CICL of freedom Party has called the initiative "a positive and enforceable law on the rights of foreigners", and its goal is to put an end to the "abuse" of the asylum system.

Asylum seekers would also be made to hand in data devices and mobile phones to check their identity, determine where they came from, and check to see if they have committed any crimes. In the event that an applicant happens to have first entered the European Union through another member state, they could be sent there under the Dublin Regulation, which stipulates that refugees can be transferred back to European Union state where they arrived.

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Austria received150,000 asylum applications following the migration crisis of 2015, or about 1.7 percent of the population of 8.7 million. Migration was a major theme of last year's election. The measures would be "a serious intrusion into people's privacy", as well as being "debilitating" for asylum seekers, who "already have very little", the group said. The plan envisions sending criminals to detention centers for deportation after they serve prison sentences.

The time period required for migrants who have received asylum to get Austrian citizenship will also be prolonged from the current six years to ten years.

Those whose asylum application has been rejected won't be able to move beyond the district where they live until they decide to go back to their home country, according to the document.

Since 2016, Austria has had a ceiling on the number of asylum seekers accepted. In 2018, this figure is 30,000.

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