German cabinet approves IDs for refugees

German cabinet approves plan to issue identity cards to refugees which they will require to apply for asylum

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Asylum seekers take pictures with their mobile phones as German President Joachim Gauck is welcomed at a provisional tent home for refugees in Cologne, Germany November 12, 2015

Updated Dec 10, 2015

The German cabinet on Wednesday approved bringing in identity cards, or “arrival IDs,” for refugees, which they will need when applying for asylum.

The cards will include information on the refugees' date and place of birth, nationality and gender, a photo, and their height and eye colour.

The registration centers will also take fingerprints.

Interior Minister Thomas De Maiziere said, "This way we can try and better detect people who are trying to disguise their identity."

German authorities plan to apply the IDs to newcomers as of mid-February, after parliament approves the proposal.

De Maiziere said that the “refugees will need an ID card if they want to receive benefits and apply for asylum.”

"The draft law is a further important step to register the people who are arriving quickly while ensuring their identity," he added.

The data will be collected and saved in a central register which will be available to all relevant authorities.

Health and vaccination information as well as academic and professional qualifications will also be recorded in the system.

Germany registered 964,574 asylum applications from the start of 2015 to the end of November, which puts the country on track for a million arrivals in 2015.

In 2015, over 3,600 people died in the Mediterranean while trying to reach safe European countries, according to the United Nations International Organization for Migration.

TRTWorld and agencies