• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Germany orders one-year-old girl to leave within a week
File photo: DPA

Germany orders one-year-old girl to leave within a week

The Local · 16 Feb 2016, 09:50

Published: 15 Feb 2016 16:19 GMT+01:00
Updated: 16 Feb 2016 09:50 GMT+01:00

Edona has only known life in Germany.

Twenty months ago she was born in the Sauerland region in the west of the country, eleven days after her parents Eduart and Franga arrived from Albania seeking asylum.

On Thursday, Edona received an 11-page letter from the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) explaining that she had one week to leave the country, Rhineland paper Der Westen reports after seeing the document.

To her family it seemed that Edona was being forced out of the country because she was born in the Bundesrepublik and therefore could not prove that she faced persecution at home.

“A concrete and individual fear of persecution could not be found for the applicant,” the letter stated, before explaining “persecution cannot exist due to the fact the applicant was born in Germany and at no point has been in Albania.”

If Edona does not comply, she will be deported, the letter warned.

Incompetence more than callousness

The case was picked up by local media as an example of the unbending hand of German bureaucracy. For the family, it would have meant all of them leaving, as sending their young daughter to Albania alone wasn't an option.

But the story turns out to be more of an example of the chaotic state of affairs at the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF).

A spokesperson for BAMF admitted to The Local that it was actually a mistake in sending out letters - the whole family had had their applications rejected, but for some reason only Edona had been informed,

"The fact that were are dealing with such a high number of asylum applications and that we have to come to so many decisions is to blame," BAMF's Christoph Sander said.

The law on minors is very he clear, he emphasized, saying that they cannot be deported separately from their parents.

BAMF is currently struggling under a backlog of around 370,000 asylum applications, the Rheinische Post reports, with a further 400,000 who arrived in 2015 still to even hand in their applications.

The federal office has taken on extra staff over the last few months to try and fight through the piles of paper work and hopes to decide on a further half a million cases in 2016.

Albania 'safe country of origin'

Story continues below…

Since the summer of 2015 Germany has considered Albania a “safe country of origin”, meaning that an asylum seeker from there has to prove a specific threat against their person in order to claim refugee status.

Edona’s parents made an asylum application in 2014 which sought to prove that they are threatened with a blood feud from a neighbouring family.

According to Heinrich Nolte, the ex-mayor of the town in North Rhine-Westphalia where the family live, they are totally integrated.

Both parents have full time jobs and do not use state welfare, Nolte told Der Westen. Their six-year-old son Edjon goes to the local primary school, and Eduart sings in a men’s choir.

BAMF had not responded to a request for comment from The Local by the time of publication.

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Today's headlines
I’m ashamed of Germany’s refugee failure: Green leader
Cem Özdemir. Photo: DPA

The head of the Green Party has responded angrily to Angela Merkel’s speech on refugees on Friday, saying he feels “ashamed at Germany’s failure".

German satirists mock Erdogan (and his penis)
Photo: DPA

Tempting fate?

Huge pro-Erdogan rally puts strain on Turkish community
Erdogan supporters at a rally in 2014. Photo: DPA

Tens of thousands of supporters of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan plan to rally in Cologne on Sunday, as tensions over Turkey's failed coup have put German authorities on edge.

Opinion
How the Berlin startup scene is wasting its potential
Photo: DPA

"The truth is, there really isn't a truly successful international Berlin startup."

Five years' jail for German darknet weapons dealer
Photo: DPA

He had sold weapons to known Isis-sympathizers and far-right extremists.

Prickly Bavarian calls out cops on hedgehogs' noisy sex
Photo: DPA

Caught in the act.

International or German state school - which one's best?
Photo: DPA

Deciding between sending your child to a German state school or a private international school isn't easy. Max Bringmann has experienced both.

13 mortifying mistakes German learners always make

Sure-fire ways to get off on the wrong foot in the German language.

Captain Schweinsteiger retires from international football
Bastian Schweinsteiger. Photo: DPA

He has won a World Cup with Die Mannschaft and captained them at Euro 2016. On Friday Bastian Schweinsteiger announced his retirement from the national team.

Woman accused of false rape allegation at Cologne NYE
Cologne on New Year's Eve. Photo: DPA

According to latest reports, the woman was not even in Cologne on New Year's Eve.

Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Travel
Enter if you dare: Berlin's best abandoned haunts
DPA
Gallery
IN PICTURES: How Munich responded to shooting spree
Lifestyle
10 rookie errors all Brits make when they arrive in Germany
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
National
Bavaria train attack: Were police right to shoot to kill?
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
National
How to get German citizenship (or just stay forever)
Technology
Brexit will turn Berlin into 'Europe’s startup capital'
Travel
Six soothing day trips to escape the bustle of Berlin
International
'Germany needs to make UK come to its senses'
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Features
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
Sponsored Article
Health insurance for expats in Germany: a quick guide
Features
How two gay dads cut through German red tape to start a family
National
Five things to know about guns in Germany
Culture
10 things you need to know before attending a German wedding
National
Eight weird habits you'll pick up living in Germany
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Lifestyle
Six reasons 'super-cool' Berlin isn't all it's cracked up to be
Society
Only one country likes getting naked on the beach more than Germany
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Lifestyle
23 ridiculously fascinating things you never knew about Berlin
Culture
8 German words that perfectly sum up your 20s
Lifestyle
Can't make it past the door at Berlin's most famous club? Help is at hand
Business & Money
Why Frankfurt could steal London's crown as Europe's finance capital
Features
6 surprising things I learned about Germany while editing The Local
10,786
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd