More than 6,000 migrants in Germany are justified in their decision to sue the government for taking an exceedingly large amount of time to process asylum claims.
According to Germany’s Federal Ministry of the Interior’s website: "Basic Law grants victims of political persecution an individual right of asylum." Recently, however, Germany has had a hard time fulfilling this promise.
In 2015, approximately one million refugees migrated to Germany seeking asylum. Due to the incredible influx, the German Federal Office for Migration and Refugees has not been able to process all of the migrants’ claims.
Now, more than halfway through the year 2016, migrants are rightfully wondering when Germany will fulfill its promise of safety and acceptance.
The German Federal Office for Migration and Refugees, better known as BAMF, has a history of slow processing times. Before the 2015 influx of migrants, individuals waited an average of five to six months to receive grants of asylum. Without identification, the wait time is even longer.
BAMF spokesperson Reinhard Ruthsatz says that since 2015, asylum claims sit in waiting for a minimum of six to nine months before the court has a chance to look at them. This is not acceptable.
DW reports that 2015 was a record year for Germany, as the country received more migrants than any year in its history. Most of the 1.14 million migrants were individuals fleeing from war-torn and devastated countries in the Middle East, Asia, and Africa.
Given the severity of the conflicts in these countries, governments in Europe, especially those with a clear promise of granting asylum to individuals in danger, should have prepared themselves adequately for increased levels of immigration. Being prepared would include increasing staff or materials in BAMF’s office.
Refugees have a right to complain after waiting a year and a half to receive asylum. In January, thousands of migrants issued formal complaints addressed to BAMF. As Ruthsatz stated, however, formal complaints may take up to one year to process.
After waiting for months and issuing formal, unsuccessful complaints, suing seems to be the migrants’ only option.