Migrants in Germany who return to Syria for holidays may lose their refugee status, according to German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer.
“If somebody, a Syrian refugee, regularly takes holidays in Syria, he cannot honestly claim to be persecuted in Syria,” Seehofer told Bild am Sonntag weekly, adding “We would strip him of his refugee status.”
If German officials learn that a migrant is on holiday in the nation they claim to have fled, a probe will be launched into their refugee status, Seehofer added.
German officials are currently unable to deport people to Syria as the Middle Eastern country is considered unsafe. The ban is set to expire at the end of 2019, although there is an option to prolong it.
Talking to the Sunday edition of the mass-circulation Bild newspaper, Seehofer said German authorities were closely monitoring the situation in Syria.
“When the conditions allow, we will conduct deportations,” he said. –DW
Seehofer has repeatedly clashed with German Chancellor Angela Merkel over her far more liberal refugee policy. Some 780,000 Syrians have migrated to Germany in recent years amid the fallout from the Syrian civil war which began in 2011. Hundreds of thousands of people have lost their lives in the conflict which is still active in the northwest Syrian region of Idlib province.