Home immigration Austrian minister promises crackdown on immigration with ‘very, very tough asylum policies

Austrian minister promises crackdown on immigration with ‘very, very tough asylum policies


Austria’s interior minister has promised “very, very tough asylum policies” in a crackdown on immigration.

Herbert Kickl, a member of right-wing Freedom Party, was sworn in as Interior Minister last month and intends to beef up the country’s asylum policies.

At a Council of Ministers meeting, Mr Kickl said the new government would quickly get to work on deporting migrants who had been denied asylum, local media reported.

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The new minister referred to figures from a 2016 security report claiming an supposed 13 per cent rise in criminal acts carried out by foreigners that year.

Mr Kickl added the new government, a coalition between his Freedom Party and the conservative People’s Party led by Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, would stamp down on the trend and pass “very, very tough asylum policies.”

He said: “That means avoiding a large mass of people from entering the country in an uncontrolled manner.”

Mr Kickl also suggested the government should be able to check migrants and asylum seekers’ mobile data to try to gather information about refugee routes.

Controversially, he also proposed mandatory X-rays to determine asylum-seekers’ ages for legal purposes.

He is also campaigning for faster asylum procedures and faster deportations.

This is the latest in a series of proposed hard measures against migrants in Austria.

Last week Vice Chancellor Heinz-Christan Strache suggested that asylum seekers should be subject to a curfew, and be housed in military barracks when they are seeking asylum.

Speaking to ORF he said it should be discussed other “from a specific evening time onward, all refugees should have to be back in the barracks” as he is pushing for refugees to be housed in designated accommodation such as military barracks rather than private flats.

He said: “Order is needed, as long as there is an open asylum procedure.”

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