The German government wants to ease the rules for deporting foreign criminals in the wake of the New Year’s Eve assaults in Cologne, two senior officials said Tuesday.
The planned reform of laws on deportation and sexual offenses would “significantly” lower the legal hurdles for expelling foreigners who commit serious crimes, Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said.
“That’s a hard but right response by the state to those who are seeking protection here, but think they can commit crimes” without consequences, de Maiziere told reporters in Berlin.
Justice Minister Heiko Maas, who announced the plans alongside de Maiziere, said that public pressure following the Cologne assaults had played a role in getting the plan agreed so quickly.
Cologne police say 553 criminal complaints have been filed with them in connection to the New Year’s attacks. About 45 percent involve allegations of sexual offenses.
Police say most of the suspects are believed to be foreigners, including at least some asylum-seekers. Many were described as being of “Arab or North African origin.”
The changes, which have to be approved by the Cabinet and Parliament, would mean that any custodial sentence for crimes against another person’s bodily integrity, including sexual assaults, as well as violent thefts, would be grounds for deportation. Youth sentences would be covered too.
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SOURCE: Fox News