Eight Times More Cubans Applied for Asylum in Germany in the First Half of the Year

Cubans commonly buy ticked to places where they don’t need a visa and then ask for asylum in a different country on a stopover. (14ymedio)

14ymedio biggerEFE (via 14ymedio), Berlin, 23 July 2023 — The number of Cubans seeking asylum in Germany multiplied by eight during the first half of the year compared to the same period of 2022. “The number of asylum applications from Cuban nationals this year, as of July 2, 2023, has increased compared to the same period last year, from 73 to 607,” a spokesman for the Ministry of the Interior confirmed to the newspaper Bild.

According to the media, Cubans use a mechanism that consists of buying a plane ticket to a destination for which they do not need a visa, for example Belgrade or Dubai, with a stopover in the German city of Frankfurt.

There, where transiting passengers do not need a visa, they appear at the Federal Police and apply for asylum.

According to the spokesman, in 2022, 302 Cubans were identified who mainly used this transiting privilege to apply for asylum.

He added that “not even half” of these Cubans follow the law; that is, they do not later show up at the corresponding center of the immigration office “after expressing their desire for asylum with the Federal Police” at the airport and registering their data.

The newspaper points out that about 300 Cubans have disappeared in this way.

“It is unacceptable that the Schengen border code can be undermined by a simple trick, with a stopover flight. The right of asylum and Schengen rights must be urgently reviewed,” demanded the head of the German police union, Heiko Teggatz, in statements to Bild.

The newspaper points out that about 95% of asylum applications submitted by Cuban citizens are rejected. In 2021, 38 asylum requests from Cubans were registered; last year, 187.

Bild also recounts the case of the González family — father, mother, and two children — and two other Cubans who had left Havana on May 27 on the Condor airline bound for Dubai via Frankfurt, where they were intercepted in the transiting area by the Police.

In statements to the Police, the woman confessed that they wanted to emigrate illegally to Spain, for which they had to seek asylum first in Germany. Then they would be picked up at the reception center by smugglers who would take them to Madrid by car, and who had charged them 25,000 euros (27,750 dollars) for the service.

Translated by Regina Anavy


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