Austria announce plans to automatically deny asylum to migrants

Austria announce plans to automatically deny asylum to all migrants who arrive in Europe with the help of smugglers

  • Plan will deny migrants who receive aid from human traffickers asylum in Austria
  • Interior Minister says migrant plan will make system fairer for asylum seekers
  • Chancellor Kurz declares that Austria must ‘smash business model’ of traffickers

All migrants who arrive in Europe with the help of human traffickers will be automatically denied asylum in Austria, under new plans revealed by its Interior Minister today.

Austrian Interior Minister Herbert Kickl, a member of the Freedom Party of Austria (FPO), said his plans aim to punish migrants using smugglers by handing down an automatic negative asylum decision.

Kickl told local media that he hopes Austrian laws will be amended to enable this policy provision and that Austria’s immigration stance ‘should head in this direction.’

Austrian Interior Minister Herbert Kickl unveiled plans to punish migrants using human traffickers with an automatic negative asylum decision

The Austrian minister said it was unfair that someone who could afford the services of human traffickers had a greater chance of asylum than others who could not.

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, leader of the Austrian People’s Party (OVP) recently hinted at a similar idea.

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Kurz said: ‘It is not the poorest who flee, but those who can afford human traffickers.’

Sebastian Kurz, 32, is the youngest head of government out of any European country and his aggressive immigration stance has made ripples in the international community.

The Chancellor said that it was a mistake that the continent of Africa had been given the impression that ‘these people can get through to Europe’.

Chancellor Kurz said it was Austria’s ‘Christian-social responsibility’ to make conditions in Africa better

According to Kurz, the influx of migrants had directly led to ‘dead people in the Mediterranean’ and makeshift camps in Libya where African migrants are ‘enslaved and tortured’ by local traffickers.

‘We have to smash the business model of the human traffickers,’ saio Kurz.

The Austrian government, which currently holds the Presidency of the Council of the European Union, has made the migration crisis key talking point at the European level.

Earlier this week, Vienna hosted EU-Africa forum in which Kurz said he hopes to discuss plans to jump-start economic growth in Africa. 

Kurz said: ‘It is our Christian-social responsibility to make the conditions there better.’

The Chancellor praised Siemens for its pledged €500 million (£451.5 million) investment into the creation of jobs on the African continent.

Kurz asserted that ’18 million new jobs’ must be created in Africa each year ‘because the population explosion is so dramatic’.

Kurz (right) during the EU-Africa forum meeting in Vienna where he said that it was Austria’s ‘Christian-social responsibility’ to make conditions in Africa better

After a year in office, Chancellor Kurz and his FPO coalition partners have introduced strict anti-immigration measures and cut benefits for new arrivals in the country.

The coalition have proposed a plan to seize migrants’ cash upon arrival in the country, which the government says will go towards their initial care.

The tightening of asylum laws also includes the power to confiscate asylum seekers’ mobile phones which would allow investigators to access the phone’s geodata to determine their origin and exact journey. 

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