Austria proposes to seize asylum seekers' devices to check their identities and travel routes
In April 2018, the Austrian cabinet agreed on legislation that required asylum seekers would be forced to hand over their mobile devices to allow authorities to check their identities and origins. If they have been found to have entered another EU country first, under the Dublin regulation, they can be sent back there. The number of asylum seekers has dropped substantially since 2016, when measures were taken to close the Balkan route. The bill, which must pass Parliament, also allows the authorities to seize up to €840 to pay for the migrants' upkeep while waiting for their claims to be processed; requires hospitals to disclose when they will be discharged, to facilitate deportations; and will raise the length of time refugees must wait to apply for Austrian citizenship to ten years.
Writer: Bethany Bell