Status: 28/09/2023, 16:13 p.m.
Geert Mackenroth (CDU), Commissioner for Foreigners, is waiting in the state parliament. © Sebastian Kahnert/dpa-Zentralbild/dpa
Many refugees in Saxony want to work and do so. Saxony also needs them to maintain its standard of living - and not just skilled workers. There are still a few adjustments that need to be made.
Dresden - The acceptance of the acceptance of refugees in Saxony's population has fallen compared to last year. "The situation has now changed, it is dwindling day by day," only less so among people from Ukraine, said the Commissioner for Foreigners Geert Mackenroth (CDU) on Thursday at the presentation of his 2022 annual report in Dresden. "All in all, it can be said that integration is not booming at the moment." However, a "feel-good climate" is "in the very best interest of the Free State in order to maintain our standard of living".
With regard to the current asylum debate, Mackenroth (CDU) called for pragmatic administrative decisions from the authorities in dealing with migrants and called for more use of discretionary powers. "We have to move away from traditional administration to a cooperative partner, an enabling authority." What is needed is a solution-oriented approach, also in view of the shortage of skilled workers, "within the framework of the legal regulations".
According to Mackenroth, those seeking protection who work relieve the burden on society financially and improve the social climate. Many learned German with "astonishing energy", structured their lives, went to work "and sometimes have a beneficial effect in the companies," he said. And the rejection of foreigners often disappears "abruptly" with personal encounters. In order to retain and attract workers, "a good reception climate" is still needed. He also sees "quite a bit of room for improvement" at the immigration authorities.
Acceptance could also be increased by limiting the influx. "We must not only treat those who are here decently, but make sure that they enrich our labor market." And there could also be thought about relaxing the "strict rules" in the Residence Act and the possibility of exceptions "so that people can work temporarily or in certain areas of shortage".
At the same time, Mackenroth campaigned for a new asylum compromise. Seeking non-partisan consensus could help, for example with a round table. "That's a matter for the boss," he said in the direction of Berlin. That would be better "than giving in slice-by-slice" as on the subject of border controls, which confuses the population. "Such a summit would be a good thing, but something has to come out of it at the back."
In 2022, almost 60,000 refugees from Ukraine with a passport accounted for more than half of all arrivals. According to Mackenroth, this led to overload in immigration authorities. "They need a lot more staff." For example, naturalization periods of more than a year are "just not a nice business card" for Saxony. And there is a trend to be transferred to other areas of administration. "The huge workload is a huge stress factor."
Mackenroth expressed his gratitude for the "impressive" willingness of the population to help. "But we notice that this is slowly tiring when there is no end in sight." Questioning is normal.
Half of the Ukrainians who have fled are working. The others either couldn't find a job or didn't want to, had language barriers or wanted to return as quickly as possible. According to Mackenroth, half of the people who came to Saxony around 2015 are also employed subject to social security contributions. "That's not a bad record, but a little more needs to be done."
According to the report, there were 2022,297 people living in Saxony without German citizenship in 596. This corresponded to a share of 7.3 percent of the total population and was far below the national average (14.6 percent). In Dresden, Leipzig and Chemnitz it was between 10 and 13 percent, in the ten districts between 3 and 6 percent. "Many are here for training or for gainful employment." dpa