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Asylum compromise

“Asylum compromise” means the revision of German asylum law in 1993. In 1992, following the debates about the increased number asylum seekers in Germany as well racist attacks and a general racist attitude in society, the government coalition of CDU/CSU and FDP together with the opposition party SPD agreed on a change of the fundamental right of asylum guaranteed in the German Basic Law in §16a. On 26 May 1993, the German Bundestag accepted this revision. Besides the new Asylum Seekers Benefit Act, the changes included the so-called third-country regulation, meaning that a person who enters Germany by way of a safe third country is not entitled to seek asylum in Germany. However, Germany is surrounded by countries categorised as safe third countries. In addition, people who come “safe countries of origin” are not entitled to asylum in Germany as well. Other changes included the so-called “airport regulation” which allowed immigration authorities to detain asylum seekers at airports upon arrival and carry out fast track asylum procedures within the airport transit zones. Following these revisions, the number of asylum applications in Germany decreased while the number of deportation increased.