Among the German federal states, Baden-Württemberg, in southwest Germany bordering France and Switzerland, has many undocumented migrants from The Gambia. With about 15,000 Gambian migrants illegally staying in Germany, it is said that almost 10,000 live in the southwest.
Christoph Hoffmann, a liberal member of the Bundestag for the Free Democratic Party (FDP) in southern Baden, who is also the development policy spokesman for his parliamentary group, was recently on the trip to The Gambia with the German Development Minister Gerd Müller (CSU) in an attempt to convince the Gambian authorities to accept Germany’s new immigration policy.
The FDP party has always called for Germany to adopt an immigration channel using a Canada-style points-based immigration system where a noncitizen’s eligibility to immigrate is (partly or wholly) determined by whether that noncitizen can score above a threshold number of points in a scoring system that might include such factors as education level, wealth, connection with the country, language fluency, existing job offer, or others.
According to Christoph Hoffmann, there is no such reason Gambian migrants should claim to fear for their lives in their quest to obtain german asylum documents. On the contrary, Mr. Hoffman told German’s daily paper Badische Zeitung that The Gambia is a very safe country. “And there is freedom of expression, which was not always the case in the past,” Christoph Hoffman added.
European countries like Germany and Switzerland have become increasingly angry with The Gambia. The West-African country has formally blocked flights returning Gambian migrants deported from the European Union member countries.
European governments complained that The Gambia has never fully cooperated on deportations of its nationals even though President Adama Barrow’s government signed a non-binding agreement on deportations of Gambians with the EU in 2018 but “never fully respected it.”
In his interview with Badische Zeitung, Christoph Hoffmann lamented, “In the southwest, thousands of people from the Gambia live without papers, so deportation is hardly possible.”
Therefore, the South Baden FDP MP pleaded for Germany to buy into his party’s advocated new ways of immigration.