I keep hearing this, and I don't know what law people are refering to. The only one I know of is the Dublin Regulation. Is there more?

Does Merkel, as a Chancellor, have the right to allow this flow, from a legal and constitutional point of view? Can she, for example, be sued?

PS: I would highly appreciate answering with proper references.

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    Can you cite examples of people saying this?
    – Golden Cuy
    Mar 14, 2017 at 9:18
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    @AndrewGrimm I'm sorry I can't accurately point to it now. Though I remember particularly Pat Condel mentioning that in one of his last videos, and calling the act illegal and emphasizing that it's illegal. His channel: youtube.com/user/patcondell/videos Mar 14, 2017 at 10:29
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    It is not correct to call the immigrants "refugees". An important point in the immigration debate is that the immigrants are anonymous with unknown background. It is unknown whether an immigrant is a war criminal and oppressor, or one of those who flee from them.
    – LocalFluff
    Mar 14, 2017 at 13:29
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    @easymoden00b There are different opinions on the matter. Some people think it's right and some people think it's wrong. You're trivializing the matter by assuming that discrementation/identity is the only reason for refusing to let them in. I can, off the top of my head, do the same and ask you why you don't let all homeless people to your house? Instead of trivializing the matter, try to discuss with those people why they don't want that and understand their perspective. May 15, 2017 at 13:51
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    @easymoden00b I'm sorry, but people thinking like you are why Trump won, and people thinking like you is why the AfD is getting more popular. Keep putting labels on people instead of having open, transparent discussions. Very nice! Thanks for convincing me that Germans need a slap just like the one the Americans got with Trump. I'm saying this with absolutely no hard feelings. Peace :) May 15, 2017 at 15:49

1 Answer 1


I will try to answer it, consider breaking European rules is not breaking law. So if Merkel breaks a "law", it must be a German one. Germany's constitution, the Grundgesetz, there is a right of asylum (Article 16a). The first 19 articles in our constitution are especially protected and considered as most important.

(1) Persons persecuted on political grounds shall have the right of asylum.

So it is not a crime to give asylum. Almost every refugee crossed territory of the EU before and paragraph (2) says:

(2) Paragraph (1) of this Article may not be invoked by a person who enters the federal territory from a member state of the European Communities or from another third state in which application of the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms is assured.

So people shouldn't have reached Germany and they had no privilege to enter Germany. But the Article was not designed for this amount of refugees. And since shooting people at the border isn't best practice and the neighbours would be pissed if Germany would've shut the doors and let them stay in for example Austria, Merkel decided to let people in. Thinking about "Persons persecuted on political grounds" this is not bad at all, BUT the majority were economical refugees and simply faked statements to be considered as real refugees. In this case those refugees committed crime, but not Merkel, she was not at the border to fake statements. So she can't be sued for that, but I have no reference to say she had the right to allow this flow.

My personal point of view: There were regulations and conventions for similar cases, but just not fitting for this bulks of people, trying to find a solution and offer more than intended can not be illegal.

  • Not sure how relevant the cited articles are, because opening borders is not about asylum alone but about (im-)migration as a whole (because you cannot simply open them just for refugees, since you have to evaluate them first to get them that status - I see you touched that later in the answer, but I don't think this answers the question) IIRC many people arguing about this in Germany stated that Merkel did not actually open the borders per se (they were open before), but instead invited the refugees to come. (don't have a source at hand for this so I am leaving a comment) May 16, 2017 at 14:18
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    Good Point. Since you can't build camps outside the borders where migrants can wait to get the status you need to handle it inside the countries borders. Because everyone who registered at the border will have this asylum procedure the articles are relevant. At no point migrants where invited to enter Germany without any process. There was a campaign (in countries where fundamental freedoms are assured) to explain people coming to Germany is a waste of time and money, because they will be lead back.
    – J. Krue
    May 19, 2017 at 8:58

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