A year after electing the conservative Freedom Party to curb immigration and abuse of the asylum application system, Austria is proposing a plan that would force asylum seekers to hand over about $1,040 in cash to authorities, along with their cell phones.
According to a report in the Local, the money would be used for the costs of their asylum applications.
The geo-location data would be reviewed to see whether it matches their own accounts of where they’ve been and how they arrived in the country, the report said.
“If the applicant is found to have previously entered another European country where the so-called ‘Dublin regulation’ is in force, they could be sent back there,” the report said.
Interior Minister Herbert Kickl explained his objective is to end the abuse of the asylum system and set up an “enforceable law regarding the rights of foreigners.”
Political analysts expect the measures to be voted through by parliament over the next few weeks.
There were more than 150,000 asylum applications in Austria following the peak of the migration crisis three years ago.
That’s almost 2 percent of Austria’s total population of 8.7 million.
The plan also would require refugees to be in the country for 10 years before they could apply for citizenship.
And, the report said, deportations will happen more quickly.
A group that says its concern is human rights, SOS Mitmensch, complained that the fee requirement would make migration harder and taking mobile phone data would violate privacy rights.