New German immigration laws agreed at government meeting

Significant given the political debates and tensions with the coalition:

Germany’s coalition government announced in the early hours of Tuesday that they had agreed on new immigration laws after several months of back and forth over immigration policy. The new laws will be inspired by the oft-touted Canada model, and would make it more difficult for the poor and uneducated to immigrate to Germany, according to a draft of the deal seen by journalists.

The deal “adheres to the principle of separating asylum and labor migration,” and ensures that those who have a legal right to claim asylum under German law will still be able to do so.

The outline of the proposed law states however, that non-EU citizens without higher education or, preferably, a concrete job offer, will not be able to live in Germany: “We do not want any immigration from unqualified third-country nationals,” the deal states.

Like the Canada model, prospective immigrants would be ranked according to level of education, age, language skills, job offers, and “financial security.”

No special treatment for well-integrated rejected refugees

The agreement was signed by the Social Democrat (SPD) Labor Minister Hubertus Heil and Interior Minister Horst Seehofer of the CSU, the Bavarian sister party of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU). Seehofer has been pushing for immigration reform since taking office, going so far as to threaten to resign in June if his demands were not met.

“Skilled workers from abroad are already making an important contribution to the competitiveness of the German economy,” the paper states, noting the need for more highly-qualified employees.

One issue not included in the deal is a special dispensation sought by the SPD for refugees whose asylum applications have been rejected but are already well integrated in German society.

Heil told German news agency DPA that Seehofer had agreed, however, that the government should more closely take care “not to deport any of the wrong people.”

The government will also retain the right to close off immigration for certain job categories as it sees fit.

Source: New German immigration laws agreed at government meeting

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: