Nine-year-olds put in custody pending deportation

NGOs are outraged after two nine-year-old children were put into custody pending deportation this morning (Weds).Karin Klaric of NGO Purple Sheep, who advises the Kosovar family, announced today the sisters and their father were taken away from their home in Vienna from immigration authorities around 6am. She added the stunned trio had no chance to pack any things.The social worker said the girls’ mother was hospitalised amid concerns she planned to kill herself yesterday after being informed that their appeal for asylum in Austria had been rejected.Klaric said: “Officials have tried everything to keep a well integrated family from living here.”She stressed all members of the family – who came to Austria in 2004 – spoke excellent German, adding that none of them had a criminal record.Klaric said she had been informed the man and his daughters would be deported at 3am tomorrow morning, while his wife will remain in stationary care following her breakdown. She stressed her organisation would do everything to avoid the deportation. “They fulfil all criteria for staying in Austria,” Klaric said.Greens immigration issues spokeswoman Alev Korun attacked the coalition of Social Democrats (SPÖ) and People’s Party (ÖVP) for its “ruthless foreigners policies”.She said: “ÖVP Interior Minister Maria Fekter locks away children, and the SPÖ is just watching on.”News that two young girls were put in custody awaiting deportation comes only days after Fekter – who represents the conservative ÖVP’s right-wing branch – criticised the government’s current immigration policies as “not clever”.She told the Kurier newspaper: “There are people in Austria who came here a long time ago but who still don’t speak German. This causes big integration problems. Some women can’t go to the doctor, speak with the teachers about their children and can’t call for help in case of an emergency.”The minister added: “We treat (immigrating) university professors in the same way we treat illiterate people. This is not clever in an economic regard.”Speaking about upcoming stricter immigration laws, Fekter said earlier this year: “I don’t want unskilled, illiterate farmers from some mountain villages to come to Austria.”Around 21.7 per cent of the 15,785 people who applied for asylum in Austria last year were allowed to stay. This share gives Austria a midfield position in the European Union (EU). The Netherlands rated the highest percentage of applications positively among the EU-27 with 48.3 per cent, while Greece (1.1 per cent) came last in 2009.Fekter announced recently 7,192 applications for political asylum in Austria were registered between January and August, 29 per cent fewer than in the first eight months of the previous year.An overall 87,000 people settled in Austria last year, while 107,000 left the country in the same period.Around 895,000 foreigners are living in Austria. Most of them are Germans (213,000), while people from Serbia, Kosovo and Montenegro are the second-biggest group with 207,000. Turks come third with 183,000, while the Bosnian community has 130,000 members.