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Austria: New bill for the confiscation of migrants’ possessions; Austria toughens asylum law

Up to 840 euros in cash, as well as their mobile phones and the data they contain, could be confiscated from asylum-seekers as part of a controversial new bill on immigration that was presented in Austria on Wednesday. The text presented to the Council of Ministers by the Right-wing coalition in Vienna is being criticized by the opposition, as well as by refugee advocacy groups.

The seizure of sums of up to 840 euros, which would be dependent on the available resources of the migrant in question, is intended to “pay back the costs of the asylum procedure,” according to the Ministry of the Interior. The purpose of confiscating phones is to track the devices’ location data, in order to reconcile it with the declarations of asylum-seekers regarding their route and point of entry into the European Union.

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