Most decisions about refugee policy were supported by a majority of MPs, Germany’s 16 federal states and local communities.
In 2015, a CDU party congress decided that a continued influx of refugees would risk overwhelming both state and society.
The CSU is calling for a drastic overhaul of Germany’s immigration laws, including an upper limit of 200,000 on the number accepted each year. The CSU is now talking about allowing immigration only for refugees from “Christian occidental” cultures. Does this comply with your appeal for temperance among all Bundestag parties? The CSU isn’t referring here to refugees, but is expressing its thoughts on a law, as they call it, to limit immigration. Such laws always respond to the interests of countries receiving immigrants, establishing relevant criteria. That’s fine, and the purpose of such laws in every country. As a member of the European Union, Germany could, for example, give preference to immigrants from Europe. These issues, however, differ from the right to asylum or the Geneva Convention on refugees
How long can you maintain a refugee policy that is opposed by a large part of your own party and the CSU? We, the CDU, decided our policies on refugees almost unanimously at our party congress at the end of 2015. We decided that a continued influx, as it was at that time, would overburden both state and society, even in a country like Germany. Therefore, it is necessary to organize and direct these developments, significantly reducing the number of incoming refugees. Today, we see that we have taken this path and are consistently implementing CDU resolutions.
Your Bavarian sister party is fundamentally against visa-free travel to Germany from Turkey. Does this threaten the refugee agreement with Turkey? We are working on implementing all elements of the EU-Turkey agreement. Turkey has yet to fulfill a few of the 72 criteria for visa liberalization, which must be done before we can take this step.
Angela Merkel used to be a unifying figure, but her decision to welcome refugees has divided Germans.