For several months, German authorities have been discussing the issue of Islamic members of German society who just pack up and go off to the Syrian civil war. They see a massive problem down the road when these individuals decide to return to Germany, and bring violence back to places like Hamburg, Berlin, Frankfurt, etc.
The gimmick? Germany has the power to turn down passport requests. Every nation has that authority.....passports are not a right. But Germany has a law which mandates that every citizen MUST have a national ID card. This card is similar in size to a credit card....has a picture....and notes some basic information on it. It's plastic and built to last years.
This has been in effect for decades. If you stop any German on the street as a cop.....you can ask for the national ID and they must provide it. Without the national ID, you get detained, taken down to the police station and face potential hours as they assemble who you are and the whereabouts of the ID card. Typically, if you were stupid enough to leave it at home.....they might take you to the house and let you produce it.
How often might a cop stop and ask for the ID? You could go forty years and never face a situation where it's required beyond the voting situation or opening a bank account. If you travel via a German airport, to another German airport.....you will have to produce the ID.
The Germans have enacted a new deal where the national ID for individuals selected, will be replaced by a paper ID document. Yep, replacing the plastic document with a paper document.
On the cover, it says that this ID is not valid for travel beyond the borders of Germany. With the plastic ID, you could travel to any EU country.....without a passport....using the simple plastic ID.
I admit....it begs questions. If identified as a potential risk, I would imagine the local auslander office (the foreigner office from the county or district) would call you or send a letter....asking you to come by within X number of days. At the office, they'd ask you to surrender your regular plastic ID card, and accept the paper card.
Frustrated and hostile customers? Oh my.....yes. For this reason, I would imagine most offices will only do this a certain day of the week, and have at least two cops within the building to handle unruly customers.
The German Interior Department hasn't said how one gets nominated or pushed into this situation. That detail was left out of the presentation yesterday. One might assume that your name gets on some list by the local cops, by hanging out with the wrong crowd. One might also assume that the BND has a watch-list already of hundreds or thousands of potential civil war players, and would just push the list over.
Stopping the dual-citizen players? That's a minor issue remaining. Germany made the decision to please the Turkish members of its society.....allowing them to continue with two citizenships. They still retain a Turkish passport and can go around this new gimmick entirely.
Fixing the problem? I would patiently sit back for 90 days and see what legal challenges are put forward. People won't be happy, and by dragging them down to the office and taking away the national ID....might provoke them to just say "screw-it" and take off via some method (fake passport, etc). Some extremists might use this to provoke the local membership and draw media attention.
From the list of potential answers.....this was the logical next step. It's hard to find more four-star answers to this problem.....other than forcing people to take additional integration classes and challenging the Muslim religious leaders of Germany to tone down their message.