Europe’s Open Borders Complicates Fighting Crime and Terrorism | Dec 2016

Ordered Deported, Berlin Suspect Slipped Through Germany’s Fingers

– NY Times

“BERLIN — He left Tunisia, his family said, with dreams of making money and buying a car. After arriving in Italy, he was a violent inmate who spent time in six jails. In Germany, he was one of some 550 people identified as dangers to the state and placed under special surveillance.

Yet Anis Amri, who turned 24 on Thursday, was able to ignore deportation orders and brushes with the law, roaming freely until he apparently hijacked a truck and rammed it into a Christmas market in Berlin this week, killing 12 and wounding dozens. He remains on the run.

Mr. Amri’s life and odyssey underscore a vexing problem, common in Europe: how to handle hundreds of thousands of virtually stateless wanderers who are either unwilling or unable to return home.

Many are trying to integrate. Some are slated for deportation, only to melt into society. By their own intention or because of the authorities’ failings, some, like Mr. Amri, slip through the fingers of law enforcement.

Fake documents, an absence of papers and a lack of cooperation from home countries that have little incentive to take them back only widen the bureaucratic gaps they fall through.

Mr. Amri, who was reported to have used perhaps six aliases, arrived in Germany only after Italy, unable to get Tunisia to take him back, ordered him out. Germany decided this was no refugee from war and refused him asylum over the summer. But he could not be deported without a Tunisian passport, which finally arrived this week — after the Berlin attack.

Tens of thousands of deportees survive in Germany on six-month permits, long a choke point in the country’s migration system.

Germany has no law on immigration. Influxes of foreigners occur here as a result of mass flight from war, as with migrants from the Balkans in the 1990s and the Middle East today, or the recruitment of labor, as with millions of Turks in the 1960s.

In the passionate debate stirred by the arrival of so many people, many of them Muslim, Mr. Amri’s case may accelerate changes to both migration and security structures.

It has no doubt heightened the pressure on German officials as they struggle to process nearly a million migrants and refugees who arrived after Chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision in 2015 to keep the border open.”

…Continue reading @ NY Times