Germany plans easing asylum-seekers’ access to labor market

Image: Julian Stratenschulte/dpa/picture alliance

New legislation would allow successful asylum-seekers in Germany quicker access to the job market, while mandating stiffer punishment for people smugglers. Germany’s government has been under pressure on migration.

Germany’s Cabinet on Wednesday approved legislation that would allow asylum-seekers to start working sooner, along with plans to stiffen sentences for smugglers.

Interior Minister Nancy Faeser said asylum-seekers would be allowed to work after three or six months after arrival, down from the nine-month mark currently in place. The legislation still requires parliamentary approval.

Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck said the idea behind the legislation was to make sure that asylum-seekers were “out of the social system and into employment.”

The government also signaled that it is cracking down on people smugglers. Faeser said its plan calls for most offenses involving smuggling to be punished with a minimum of one year in prison, up from six months.

It foresees a sentence of between 10 years to life in prison for smuggling resulting in death.

In all cases of smuggling offenses, police will be entitled to tap suspected smugglers’ cell phones, Faeser added.


Courtesy of Deutsche Welle