A German daily reports that Berlin plans not to accord full refugee status to those fleeing Syria's civil war. Migrants would be able to stay for a more limited time and would not be able to send for family members.
The German government plans to only give Syrian refugees "subsidiary protection" from now on, meaning they will only receive a residence permit for one year and will not be allowed to reunite with family members, according to a report in the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine.
The daily reported that the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) agreed to scale back Syrian migrants' status, meaning that it falls short of "primary protection." That category had granted them the right to stay in Germany for three years and to later bring family members along with them.
On Thursday, members of the grand coalition between Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the Social Democrats (SPD) agreed to bar refugees with "subsidiary status" from reuniting with their families for two years.
BAMF reported in August a total of 55,600 asylum applications from Syrian migrants. Of those, 38,650 were granted refugee status, while only 53 were granted "subsidiary status."
There has been increased pressure on the ruling coalition to stem the flow of migrants into Germany, with conservative politician Horst Seehofer - a member of the CDU's Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU) - criticizing what he sees as Merkel's lax stance on refugees.
blc/rc (KNA, epd)