From the blog

New law in Bremen is paving the way to employment and security for asylum seekers

migrants in Somalia

Featured image from Flickr User Frank Keillor

Just yesterday (11.06.2020) the parliament of Bremen voted for a new decree, after a proposition from the left party “Die Linke”, that helps asylum seekers to find their way in the job market in Bremen but also in security. The announcement was made also from the leader of the party in Bremen, Sofia Leonidakis (link in Facebook), in her personal Facebook account. The announcement is in German, so we will try to translate it and explain the implications for the asylum seekers.

Bremen Senate. Picture from Wikimedia / CC

Translation of the Post

The Bremen Parliament, today decided on our application to pave the way to employment and residence security for refugees who have so far only been tolerated (having a Duldung). Because those who only have a six-month tolerance (the “normal” tolerations do not apply any longer) not only live with the Damocles sword of deportation, but also have a much worse chance of getting a good job. We want to change that!
The Bremen Senate will now present a decree that will regulate, and build bridges, to change lanes for those for whom asylum was not granted, especially after all the tightening of asylum law.

Our bridge pillars are:
  • Tolerance in the case of looking for a job or gainful employment. The discretionary tolerance can be granted for longer periods and should at best be issued for the duration of the employment relationship
  • possibly over the long-term employment tolerance, which currently only a handful of people can use due to the extremely high hurdles in Bremen
  • in a residence permit in accordance with sections 25.5 or 18a of the Residence Act.
    This provides refugees with job prospects and legal residence security, and companies with employment security. In this way, we exploit the scope available at the state level to oppose the policy of prohibiting employment and deportation, as well as a policy of social participation and future prospects.
    We make humanitarian migration policy concrete. Because the legal or factual exclusion from the labor market is deeply discriminatory for quite a few groups of refugees and means social isolation and disintegration. Because after decades of immigration debates you have to learn that toleration, sometimes over 30 years (!!!), are pure madness. Because social participation, participation in working life and securing one’s own existence, should be a fundamental right.

What does it mean for the Asylum seekers

Until now there are a various kinds of Tolerance (Duldung) they are for a period of 6 months. There is a Duldung that someone gcan get in order to work which is still for 6 months. As you can understand no employer could offer a good job with a future to a person that could be deported after 6 months. The Bremen Senate decoded to help Asylum seekers by giving the Duldung for a longer period a long as they actively search for a job. This means that you get a Duldung for finding a job and not after you have found it. The plan is that when a person with Duldung finds a job his Duldung (Tolerance permit) will be extended, hopefully for the whole period of his contract. If not it would be for sure more that 6 months.

The idea is that this way more employers would be persuaded to try to employ an asylum seeker since there would be no fear of deportation in the near future. The asylum seekers, with this law can extend their staying, try to integrate through a job, find better ways to help themselves and the hosting society and stop being or be seeing as a problem. Through this law there is also the opportunity for the asylum seekers, who look actively for a job, to get a residence permit with the same provisioning as the ones who where getting it because they had a job. This is a change in the humanitarian tolerance permit which is exploited by the Bremen parliament in a constructive way. Giving incentives to asylum seekers to have a more clear purpose and the way and means to achieve and also for the employers to feel more secure when they choose an asylum seeker as an employee.

For the readers that can understand German, here is the speech from Sofia Leonidakis in the Bremen Senate, about the law

We have to repeat again that this is a local law and can be implementing ONLY in the federal state of Bremen.