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Leading Union Boss: Rejected Asylum Seekers & Unemployed Germans Should Receive Equal Social Benefits by Robert Semonsen

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Leading Union Boss: Rejected Asylum Seekers & Unemployed Germans Should Receive Equal Social Benefits

The new chairwoman of Germany’s largest trade union federation, who formerly served as a member of the Bundestag for the Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands (SPD), has called for Hartz IV social welfare benefits to be extended to asylum seekers, including migrants whose asylum applications have been rejected. 

If adopted by Germany’s left-liberal, pro-mass migration government, the proposal—put forward earlier this week by Yasmin Fahimi, the chair of the German Trade Union Federation—would place rejected asylum seekers on equal footing with unemployed German workers, allowing them to receive 449 euros from the state each month, Junge Freiheit reports.

Previously, only those deemed to be legitimate asylum seekers who had lived in the country for 18 months were eligible to receive basic security welfare. However, following the onset of the Russia-Ukraine war and the subsequent influx of Ukrainian asylum seekers, Hartz IV social welfare benefits were extended to Ukrainian refugees immediately. Now, Fahimi insists that all asylum seekers should receive the same benefits immediately, irrespective of whether their applications have been approved.

“It’s not really clear to me why we still maintain this system of distinguishing between basic security and asylum seeker benefits,” Fahimi, who formerly served as the SPD’s general secretary, told the German press.

Germany’s left-liberal government as well as some of the country’s most influential pro-migration institutions—both religious and secular—have signaled support for Fahimi’s radical proposal.

The SDP’s junior coalition partners, the Bündnis 90/Die Grünen (the Greens) and the Freie Demokratische Partei (FDP), have also expressed the desire to extend Hartz IV benefits to all newly arrived migrants who claim to be asylum seekers.

“To this end, the traffic light partners are striving for coherent immigration law. This should offer quick and easy solutions for those seeking protection,” FDP politician Manuel Höferlin said.

The chairwoman of the council of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD), Annette Kurschus, who’s known for her radical pro-mass migration stance, recently argued: “Our goal must be equal treatment for all refugees, and on the same level as the refugees from the Ukraine are treated.” 

Pro Asyl, Germany’s largest pro-immigration advocacy organization, has also expressed its desire to see the country’s current benefit system for asylum seekers overhalled.

Germany’s centrist and right-wing opposition parties, for their part, have rejected the radical proposal. 

“It is good and right that we help the women and children who are fleeing the war in Ukraine to us quickly and unbureaucratically. However, the AfD parliamentary group considers the transfer of refugees from Ukraine to basic security to be wrong. That’s what the Asylum Seekers Benefits Act is for,” Alternative für Deutschland parliamentary group leader Alice Weidel said.

Therefore, the AfD firmly rejects “transferring all other refugees to basic security and thus extending the claims for all asylum seekers in Germany,” Weidel added.

AfD labor and social policy spokesman René Springer also spoke out in opposition to the proposal, writing in a statement: 

This is exactly what the AfD faction warned about has happened: if the DGB boss has her way, asylum seekers would in the future have direct access to the German basic security system. This would give them full entitlement to all Hartz IV benefits, including accommodation costs and statutory health insurance. Last week, the Bundestag also decided to suspend the Hartz IV sanctions, which means even unemployed people refusing to work may no longer be sanctioned by the job centers. The DGB requirement is nothing more than a basic income for asylum seekers. Germany, which is already a strong immigration magnet, will face even worse pressure.

Our employees can no longer convey this at all. Because the demands of the DGB boss are entirely at the expense of the German taxpayers and contributors, who today bear the highest tax and levy burden worldwide. In addition, almost every fifth employee in Germany works in the low-wage sector. Despite having full-time jobs, many of them have less available at the end of the month than a Hartz IV recipient. This is a blatant injustice. 

As the AfD parliamentary group, we demand a strict limit on immigration. For us, the principle of ‘benefits in kind before cash benefits’ applies in order to keep the incentives to immigrate to our social systems as low as possible. Foreigners who are obliged to leave the country must also be consistently deported and the asylum industry must be drained. It must be about saving costs and finally relieving our taxpayers and contributors.

Robert Semonsen is a political journalist based in Central Europe. His work has been featured in various English-language news outlets in Europe and the Americas. He has an educational background in biological and medical science. His Twitter handle is @R_Semonsen.