Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The Passport Story

It's an odd story which probably won't get picked up much by national news in Germany.  There are refugees and asylum seekers who gone through the process and failed the visa application (for whatever reason).  So, it's then time to send the guy out of Germany.  Well.....there is this trend which is difficult to explain.....to be sent out of Germany.....you require your passport or identity papers, and in a number of cases....the papers simply aren't there.

The cause?  Normally, you'd think that the applicant (the asylum seeker or immigrant) would have tossed the passport or papers....but no, that's been proven as not the case.

So, this is what the Bavarian government can figure out. As each asylum seeker or refugee crosses the border.....they have to get registered with the German authorities.  Paperwork is generated, and then one of three different entities will collect the passport or identity paper involved.  So, you've got the German Federal Police, or possibly some employee of the local administrative district or the BAMF branch office (the German national immigration office) involved,

Potentially, three different organizations....at various levels....who probably never worked well together and have their own various rules to organization and filing things.  So when office X generates a 'must-leave-Germany' form for some guy.....it does no good unless that guy has a passport.  You can ask him who took the passport (six months ago) and he'll just look at you and note that a German took it. The guy with the 'must-leave-Germany' form is now screwed unless he does the homework and figures out which office is holding the passport and gets control of it.

Amusing?  Having worked around the US military for a large portion of my life.....I can understand the complex nature of the system and how a simple mistake can snowball into a bigger problem.  Unless you make standardization a major part of your operation.....things will fail.

Fixing this?  I would imagine at the higher levels of the Bavarian state government....there are some frustrated and angry people.  They can only control their state police, and maybe the local administrative district personnel.  The rest are all federal organizations and independent of each other.....so unless the Berlin crowd steps in and orders some consolidation or better practices....it's hard to see this improving.

How many people affected?  Unknown.  The news journalists of BR (the Bavarian state-run TV network) simply acknowledge that they've run into this problem and simply are reporting it.  No real numbers.

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