Migrant women in Germany have figured out a way to lock down their residency status. It’s essentially a scam but it’s being widely used. Pregnant migrants are paying German men to say they’re the father of their unborn child.

The Telegraph UK reports:

Pregnant migrants pay German men to pretend to be father of their children in visa fraud

Pregnant migrant women are paying German men to claim to be the fathers of their children so they can stay in the country, it has emerged.

Women from Vietnam, Africa and Eastern Europe are paying German men as much as €5,000 (£4,350) to pose as the fathers of their children, according to RBB local television in Berlin.

An investigation by the broadcaster found some 700 suspected cases in the last few months in the German capital alone.

Angela Merkel’s government is taking the claims seriously. “There are a lot of unreported cases,” Ole Schröder, a junior minister in the interior ministry said.

“We have a lot of evidence from the foreign residents’ authority. The fake fathers do it for money. In other words, we are dealing with serious crime.”

You may think a simple paternity test would put an end to all this but guess again.

The BBC reports:

Some pregnant immigrant women are reported to have paid fake fathers and solicitors as much as €5,000 (£4,356; $5,628) to get paternity registered. Once that is done, the baby automatically becomes a German citizen and the mother has the right to stay.

However, in 2013 a German Constitutional Court ruling said that even in suspicious cases it might not be worth contesting paternity, because the child could end up stateless and left in legal limbo.

It is generally easier for refugees fleeing conflict to get residency in Germany than for economic migrants who have escaped poverty in Africa, Asia or Eastern Europe.

Even so, Germany is taking steps to deal with the problem.

The Associated Press, via the Washington Post:

Germany cracking down on false father schemes with migrants

Germany’s Interior Ministry says a new law will help prevent German men make a profit by registering as the fathers of babies born to foreign women to get the children citizenship.

The ministry said Tuesday that measures soon coming into effect will address the “long-standing” problem by making such a practice a civil offense. Immigration officials can nullify children’s citizenship if the paternity claim is found to be an abuse of the system.

The perpetrators of this scam , both the migrants and the German men helping them, are obviously defrauding German taxpayers. There should be consequences.