Refugees in Oberderdingen: Integration officers report unequal treatment

Oberderdingen (KUNA) “There is marked unequal treatment between refugees from different countries of origin.” This was reported by the Oberderdingen community integration officer, Michaela Kallenbach, at the last meeting of the community council on July 12. According to this, Ukrainians have easier requirements, which will be noticeable, for example, in terms of residence or work permits.

Ukrainians mostly inhabit private

Since the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, there has been “a wave of willingness to provide assistance in Germany and in Oberderingen that you would not have imagined possible,” says Kallenbach. The community was already committed during the refugee crisis in 2015/2016 and in doing so it does not act stubbornly according to legal obligations. “For example, a refugee shelter on Flehenger Straße is built so that refugees do not have to be accommodated in halls or other accommodation. The situation is now completely different for Ukrainians. They are mainly located in private apartments and therefore less dependent on collective housing.

Unequal admission procedures

According to Kallenbach, the unequal treatment begins with the fact that refugees from 2015/2016 had to register with a photo, fingerprint and other data at the state’s initial reception facilities (LEA). Only then was it distributed to urban and rural areas. There are completely different procedures for refugees from Ukraine. Since the Mass Flow Directive applies to them, they do not have to apply for asylum and will therefore not be accommodated in local education bodies. In Oberderdingen they were registered with the citizens’ office, which was a “difficult task” due to the language barrier. When asked by Andrea Schwartz (The Greens), there were no discrepancies between the refugees due to the unequal treatment. According to Kallenbach, they are “largely ignoring each other”. Mayor Tomas Nowitzki also confirmed that assessment and said there were “not many connections” between refugees from other countries.

Refugees are mostly female

Most of the Ukrainian refugees in Oberdingen are female. “Usually many women in Ukraine are a little older, and many of them are already of retirement age,” says the integration official. However, almost half of them are under the age of 18. The Stromberg School has set up two preparatory classes for Ukrainians, where children from Kürnbach, Sulzfeld and Zaisenhausen are also taught. Five refugee children are housed in the Leopold-Feigenbutz-Realschule (LFR). Nowitzki called this “highly disciplined.” They will be among the best in their classes.

Language courses “fully booked”

Kallenbach explained that the community is planning more offers of assistance. This includes language courses for ladies, and childcare is offered at the same time. According to the integration employee, rooms are already available, but there is a shortage of staff. The previous consideration was to recruit students from the University of Education in Karlsruhe, whose activity could be considered as an internship. In general, language courses for refugees are currently “fully booked”. So many interested parties are on waiting lists. When asked by Armin Schäufele (Greens), Kallenbach could not give an exact figure for the exact waiting time. According to Nowitzki, many Ukrainians are “very independent and mobile” and will already attend German courses from neighboring towns, such as Bretten.

Easier integration

When Michael Blankenhorn (FWV) asked about the integration of refugees into the labor market, Kallenbach reported that refugees from Ukraine also had an easy time in this area. The fictitious certificate, which is a prerequisite for obtaining a work permit, is often issued to Ukrainians within a few days. Only the approval of the residence permit takes longer. Children are integrated into everyday life primarily in sports clubs. Kallenbach explained this to a question from Julian Brechwerdt (Greens). Above all, children who came to Oberderdingen before the war in Ukraine are integrated there. Nowitzki also reported that at the Peter and Paul Festival in Britten, refugees helped with organizational tasks, such as at the cash register or with entry controls. These were placed there across the action center.

Stop recording on the board

Kallenbach reported that the community also received €5,360 in donations to refugees. €1,000 of this amount has already been used to purchase household goods to house refugees on Flehenger Strasse. The municipality was to donate another 1,000 euros to the table. “The board of directors is doing a great job at the moment,” Nowitzki emphasized. Usually 30 families shop at the Tafel in Oberderden a week. Meanwhile, there are 70 families, and therefore more than twice that number,” the mayor continued. The food bank is in dire need of money because consumer markets are behaving more cautiously, so less food gets to the food bank. So you have to buy groceries there yourself since the pandemic Private food donations have “discontinued,” Nowitzki says. Because of the tense situation, there is currently a freeze on admissions.

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