The willingness to help in the Upper Rhine is great. This was also demonstrated again on Wednesday evening, March 23, at the Castle Park Pavilion in Bad Säckingen. The Incorporated Refugee Group, AWO’s Director of Integration and the City provided information on this topic. 20-30 interested people came from Bad Säckingen, indicating their willingness to help and possibly provide an apartment.
More people are currently flowing from war zones in Ukraine to the High Rhine. This poses challenges for both aides and government agencies. Where do refugees live? How is their daily supply secured? Is there medical care? The group of assistants around Chairman Frank Van Veen, Manuel Ellis, the Municipal Welfare Office Chief and AWO Integration Administrators Rafikah Aydogan and Peter Boda in the Palace Garden Pavilion provided information on many of these questions.
Compared to the wave of refugees in 2015, it is now possible to refer to existing structures in many cases, which simplifies a lot of things, Frank van Veen reports. However, at the current stage, as now, it is not possible to determine how many refugees are still arriving. For helpers, landlords and refugees, there is a procedure to follow urgently and quickly, Van Veen and Manuel Ellis advise. This is the only way to ensure the supply of the Ukrainian people quickly.
1. Where does the refugee register?
The first corridor leads to the town hall where the refugees reside. This is where people register at the population registry office. At the same time, the so-called residence permit is filled out. This goes automatically from Town Hall to the Immigration Office of the Waldshut County Office. Exception: As a large county city, Waldshut-Tiengen has its own immigration office. The Waldshut County Office is responsible for all other towns and communities in the area. The additional steps will then be followed at the immigration authorities.
2. Immigration authorities – can refugees stay?
The next corridor leads to the immigration office. There, a few days after registering with the town hall for the community in which you live, you will receive your residence permit. The refugee receives a so-called fake certificate from the immigration authorities. This is a temporary residence permit. Because the correct document has to be produced by the Federal Printing Office, which takes weeks. The Ukrainian refugee now has a two-year residence permit. Ukrainians do not have to go through the asylum procedure, they are automatically recognized. The European Union has agreed to this.
3. What benefits do Ukrainian refugees get?
The Social Welfare Office is informed by the Immigration Office. Also located in the district office. Once the legal issues related to foreign nationals are clarified, refugees receive social benefits according to the Asylum Seekers Benefits Act: these benefits cover all the needs of daily life (from food and medical care to housing or clothing to transportation).
4. How many apartments are currently available in Bad Säckingen?
Some of those who fled war zones have found private housing – but not all. Therefore, the city of Bad Säckingen, like other municipalities, is urgently looking for apartments. Currently 48 refugees are registered in Bad Säckingen, and 22 others have been notified. Manuel Ellis said the city administration has reported 44 apartments (as of March 24), five of which are occupied. But this can change every hour. According to Ellis, the apartments available include both separate and integrated units, as well as rooms in a shared apartment. At the same time, the city is considering renting residential containers.
5. Are refugees from Ukraine allowed to work?
Yes, they are allowed to work once they have obtained a fantasy certificate from the immigration authorities. This document not only certifies the residence permit, but also allows employment and free bus and train travel within the BW tariff range, according to Tobias Hermann, a spokesperson for the district office.
6. What about unaccompanied minors?
Van Veen and Manuel Ellis caution that if unaccompanied minors attend help groups or in special locations, the Youth Welfare Office should be contacted immediately. Like the Immigration Office, the Youth Welfare Office is a department within the district office.
7. How many refugees are currently registered in Fallshot County?
Currently, 955 refugees from Ukraine are officially documented in the region. District office spokesman Tobias Hermann said 865 people are registered in the various communities in the area. Another 90 people are housed in Todtmoos under the responsibility of the Freiburg Regional Council. This is as of yesterday.
8. Do refugees have health insurance?
With the bogus certificate issued by the immigration authorities and sent to the Social Welfare Office, refugees are protected in case of illness. However, cost accounting is not run through the health insurance company, but through the district office.
9. What is required?
Frank van Veen, head of the ancillary group, said more apartments were badly needed. At the same time, interpreters are also needed, as well as teachers of German courses.
10. What is the vaccination status for refugees?
Ellis said that according to current information, only 35 percent of refugees have had a corona vaccination. However, 95 percent of them are vaccinated with the Russian Sputnik serum, which we did not recognize. There is also no broad vaccination protection against measles and other childhood diseases. She added that this should be clarified quickly at the first visit to the doctor.