In view of the sharp increase in irregular immigration, Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser wants to intensify the fight against smuggling crime. “I want to stop this cruel business of people’s need. That’s why I initiated further measures this week,” said the Social Democrat to “Bild am Sonntag”.

“We are setting up an operational analysis center at the federal police. This will evaluate all cases of smuggling in order to quickly identify connections between the cases and the perpetrators. And we will set up a new task force with our neighboring states.” The Czech Republic has already agreed, the minister reported. “This will significantly increase the search pressure.” So far this year, around 1,400 smugglers have been caught.

“Expel smugglers quickly and consistently”

Faeser also announced tightening of the law. “We want to expel smugglers quickly and consistently; we have to regulate this clearly in the law,” said the minister, without being more specific. “We also need another change: Up until now, smuggling minors has not been punishable because they do not enter the country illegally. Nobody understands that.” However, such smuggling should be subject to strict criminal prosecution. “I have already submitted a suggestion.”

The minister is also the SPD’s top candidate for the Hessian state elections on October 8th and is trying to make a name for herself. More effective measures against criminal smuggling networks have been thought about for years. According to the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees, around 204,000 initial applications for asylum were submitted from the beginning of January to the end of August – around 77 percent more than in the same period last year.

Faeser against stationary border controls

Faeser offered the Union: “On the issue of migration, for example, I would be happy to include the CDU and CSU in the “Germany Pact”. This is about skilled workers that we urgently need. And this is about reducing irregular migration.”

She once again rejected the Union’s demand for stationary border controls, for example at the borders to Poland and the Czech Republic – similar to the German-Austrian border. They would tie up too many staff and would be “purely symbolic politics, also in view of the AfD’s high poll numbers.” “It is better to be present everywhere in the border areas – with teams from the federal police and other border police.”