Germany to introduce ‘payment cards’ for asylum seekers — RT World News

Methods that would limit cash withdrawals are being floated as Berlin tries to rein in the influx of migrants with tougher laws.

Hesse state governor Boris Rehn announced that asylum seekers in Germany will stop receiving cash payments this year and will be issued special debit cards instead. The cards will reportedly have limited functionality, with features such as free cash withdrawals and transfers to recipients inside and outside Germany disabled.

A number of municipalities across the country have introduced the new payment method before it is implemented nationwide. These communities include several communities in Baden-Württemberg and Thuringia. Bild newspaper reported last month that at least 15 asylum seekers had left their regions after Thuringia authorities imposed the new protocols.

Speaking on Wednesday, Rehn revealed that 14 of Germany's 16 states had agreed to uniform standards for such cards, while Bavaria and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern were pursuing other schemes. However, they will be introducing the new payment method as well, which is expected to be finalized by this summer.

According to Ryan, “With the introduction of the payment card, we reduce the administrative burden on local municipalities [and] Preventing the possibility of transferring funds from state subsidies to countries of origin, thus combating the inhumane crime of human trafficking.

The prepaid card will not be linked to an account, and will not involve card-to-card transfers within Germany or to recipients abroad. It will also not work in any country other than Germany, if the asylum seeker travels elsewhere. Local governments will also have the option to limit the card's functionality to just one area.

It is clear that asylum seekers will be able to withdraw small amounts of cash using cards, with the monthly limit set by local authorities.

While German Finance Minister Christian Lindner praised the scheme and described it as a step “turn,” Critics on the left denounced this measure as… “Cheap populism” And “discrimination.”

The Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) reported in early January that more than 350,000 people applied for asylum in Germany in 2023, the highest number since 2016 and an increase of 51% compared to the previous year.

Last month, the German parliament passed legislation to facilitate the deportation of asylum seekers whose applications have been rejected. Among other things, the new rules significantly extend the period of detention pending deportation in an attempt to prevent situations in which rejected applicants flee when they are supposed to be repatriated.

Furthermore, police were given additional powers to search migrants' accommodation and access their mobile phones to facilitate the identification of asylum seekers.

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