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Berlin: Cash for asylum seekers who are not granted asylum

Gunnar Schupelius for BZ-Berlin.

Social Senator Breitenbach (left) has reduced the prepayments of cash. However, it does not take effective measures against the abuse of social benefits, says Gunnar Schupelius.

The fact remains: Berlin pays cash to asylum seekers, even if they don't have a chance to get asylum.

Anyone who applies for asylum in the “Arrival Center” in Wittenau (Oranienburger Straße 285) not only receives accommodation and food, but also 146 euros per person per month as well as child benefit in cash.

After a few days, the asylum seekers are distributed to accommodation. Then you get 328 euros per person per month.

In March 2020, Social Senator Elke Breitenbach (left) ordered a longer-term advance payment. Since then, the newcomers have received payments in hand for three months.

Breitenbach cited the Corona rules to justify this: visitor traffic in the arrival center should be reduced.

The increased advance payments led to abuse. In July, employees of the State Office for Refugees (LAF) wrote an internal letter to the Senator and reported: “Large families from Moldova, which often consist of 10 people, receive up to 4500 euros in cash on the first day (...). "

They also reported that the applicants are being driven by professional couriers to Oranienburger Strasse and that they are driving back home with the cash in order to later apply for asylum again and get cash.

The Berlin police confirmed “evidence of human smuggling” and LAF spokesman Sascha Langenbach stated: “Many of these applicants come between three and four in the morning. That's unusual."

The prepayment of three months is completely absurd and negligent because the asylum procedure for Moldova is decided negatively after a few weeks.

Breitenbach finally gave in. From October the prepayment will again be limited to one month. But she continues to deny the abuse. When we asked whether money had fallen into the wrong hands, her spokesman, Stefan Strauss, said: "No!"

He could know better if he had asked on the spot, as my colleagues from the BZ did on August 5th. They asked a man in front of the arrival center in Wittenau why he was here. Answer: “My wife is in the building and is applying for asylum. We get 900 euros for two months, after which we drive back. "

How much tax money has already disappeared in this way can only be guessed at.

The example of Bavaria shows that there is another way. Asylum seekers have to stay in the arrival center until their application has been decided and only receive pocket money. In the event of a negative decision, they have to leave the country directly from there. In this way, at least the systematic tapping of cash is curbed.

In Berlin, however, politicians are not even interested in such a solution.

Source: BZ-Berlin
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