According to a survey, only a few state governments can imagine housing detainees awaiting deportation in normal prisons.
A draft law of the federal government, which is to be discussed in the bundestag, provides for such a possibility. However, this would only be allowed if the prisoners who are obliged to leave the country are housed separately from the prisoners who are in jail.
A survey by the "mediendienst integration" has shown that 11 out of 16 federal states do not intend to make use of this option in principle. Six of them raise legal concerns. Baden-wurttemberg, bremen, north rhine-westphalia and saarland have no capacity in their prisons anyway. However, the survey also shows that the low number of available deportation places is seen as a problem by the majority of state governments. Nine states are planning to build new facilities or expand existing ones.
In gluckstadt, hamburg, mecklenburg-vorpommern and schleswig-holstein are planning a joint deportation detention facility with 20 places in each state. However, a spokesman for the hamburger senate explained in response to a question from "mediendienst" that a "final decision has not yet been made" on their design.
In hesse, the detention capacity is to increase from currently 20 to up to 80 places. Bavaria plans a 150-seat deportation facility in hof. In addition, a new prison is being built in passau, which, according to the current status, will have 450 detention places. Up to 200 places are to be used for deportations, separated by space.
Bremen wants to increase the number of detention places for deportees from 13 to 16, according to reports. The state government of baden-wurttemberg is planning to expand the number of places in pforzheim from 30 to 80 by the spring of 2021. Although no construction work is planned in buren in north rhine-westphalia. However, an increase from the current 140 to 175 seats is to be achieved through "organizational and personnel reductions". Saxony-anhalt does not yet have its own accommodation facilities and now wants to create a facility in dessau-roblau.
Nationwide, there are currently around 490 places for detainees awaiting deportation. Federal states like thuringia, which do not have their own facilities, are currently using the capacities of other states. The berlin facility for detention pending deportation was opened on 22 june. Commissioned in september last year. It offers space for a maximum of ten people who are obliged to leave the country and, according to information from the senate administration, is primarily used to accommodate so-called "danger seekers".
The EU directive on the return of refugees stipulates that persons who are obliged to leave the country may not be housed together with criminals. However, in its draft for an "orderly return law", the federal ministry of the interior refers to a temporary "emergency situation" in view of the high number of people who are obliged to leave the country.