The traffic light makes Germany an immigration country. But their concept has a big blind spot.
The traffic light government is serious: under the leadership of the Greens and SPD, who have been setting the pace here for years, the government wants to turn Germany into an immigration country. The way to the goal is marked, there is a clear concept. This consists of two parts:
First part: On Wednesday the government of Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz adopts a key issues paper for regulated immigration of workers to Germany. There should be a points system, and those who are best educated, have the best job prospects and also bring money with them should have the best chance of immigrating to Germany.
However, it is unclear where the line runs – at what level of education is immigration no longer desirable? From what wallet level does the limit remain for those willing to immigrate? The – ultimately decisive – details are to be drafted in the spring and then passed. Until then, this is only an – important – declaration of intent.
Regulated migration – this is what distinguishes immigration countries such as Canada, Australia and the USA. What is called the “green card” in the United States should be called “chance card” in Germany. The positive name points the way: immigration should no longer be a threat, but a promise.
This type of “greenwashing” is already known from the previous major debate: the ugly “Hartz IV” became the pretty “citizen’s allowance”. Whoever has the language has the power – the traffic light follows this principle under the socio-political direction of its two left-wing parties.
Second part: Those who have proven themselves among the new immigrants – i.e. are integrated – should be able to become Germans. This makes an offer to foreign skilled workers: Germany needs around 400,000 more skilled workers, says the economy, also says Andrea Nahles, ex-SPD leader and now president of the employment agency, so there are attractive jobs. And on top of that the prospect of assimilation, i.e. becoming German.
The offer to assimilate should also apply to hundreds of thousands of foreigners who have been living in Germany for a long time. The Federal Chancellor wants to make it easier for them to decide to finally become Germans – by having his Minister of the Interior, Nancy Faeser, lower the hurdles to do so. It should be enough to live in Germany for five years instead of eight, with good integration three years are enough. And if you’re already retired, you don’t necessarily have to speak German to be able to become a German.
This is a domestic political “turning point”: naturalization would no longer be at the end of integration, but would become part of it. A primary concern of the Greens, as their domestic policy spokeswoman Lamya Kaddor points out. What is often forgotten:
Not only peace, women and anti-nuclear policies belong to the founding reasons of the Greens, but also a foreigners policy that rejects the term because it regards foreigners as nationals of a different origin. The most prominent story about his biography has long been told by the Minister of Agriculture, Cem Özdemir.
The Greens in the immigration concept plus the danger of immigration into the social systems, that makes the FDP strangers. Just like their bourgeois clientele. For this, the Liberals also accept a row in the traffic light coalition. In public service broadcasting, this behavior of the liberals is already being framed in a hostile manner, in the spirit of the Greens and SPD – as a “blockade” of a “reform”, which means there that the integration of foreigners is fundamentally good, while skepticism is fundamentally bad.
The business sections are happy to report on part one of the concept, the regulated immigration of skilled workers using a points system. About part two, the easier possibility of being able to become German, mostly in the political parts – or at the top of the news pages because of the argument about it, which attracts more attention than the purely technical.
But in order to understand the idea of government, you have to think of both parts together, because the government does that too. After all, it is no coincidence that Nancy Faeser has completed her naturalization bill and the immigration of skilled workers will be passed in the cabinet on Wednesday. There is also a link to citizen income, as more than 40 percent of the long-term unemployed are migrants.
Assimilation – there is no better word to describe the left and right poles of the debate. Leftists, Greens and SPD reject the A word because they only want to imagine ex-foreigners being German as a way of transporting their previous cultural existence into the new passport reality.
Right-wingers reject the term assimilation because they fundamentally consider the plan of the left to be a fiction and attribute a strong intrinsic value to German. That’s why Friedrich Merz, the inventor of a “German Leitkultur” (that was at the turn of the millennium, Merz was parliamentary leader) says today that the German passport shouldn’t even be given away because it’s “valuable”.
The further one gets to the right, the more it becomes a conspiracy theory – that of the planned “great repopulation”, which means the abolition of German and a “capitulation” from Islam. That was Thilo Sarrazin’s thesis, whose book “Deutschland abolishes itself” became the leading medium for corresponding fears. The book is one of the best-selling non-fiction books in Germany and reached a circulation of 1.5 million copies. His theses ultimately cost Sarrazin his SPD membership.
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The traffic light concept makes sense if you want to be or become an immigration country. The first proposal for a points system, which Labor Minister Hubertus Heil from the SPD now wants to introduce, was made 21 years ago by a CDU politician: Rita Süssmuth, who has always provoked the majority of her party with the sentence: “Germany is a country of immigration”.
However, the immigration country concept of the traffic light has a big blind spot. The traffic light wants orderly immigration, that’s the theory. But there is a hundred thousand fold disorderly immigration, that is the practice.
This practice consists of people who came to Germany as migrants, although they are not entitled to refugee status because they were already safe from persecution in their transit countries.
The practice consists of around 300,000 people who are obliged to leave the country, but who do not leave the country because their presence is “tolerated” due to unsafe conditions in their home countries; or because lawyers and courts have increased the obstacles to deportation to such an extent that the police find it difficult to even deport criminals from Germany.
The practice is also made up of Ukrainians, of whom Germany has welcomed more than a million with open arms. Will they stay or will they leave? And how many more will come because Vladimir Putin wants to take their country away from them or destroy it? In any case, it is a large group and their fate is uncertain.
And there are currently the riots that Moroccans started in Belgium after the football game – they are often reported in the media as “Belgians”, which is also true because most of them should now have a Belgian passport. But that is exactly where the problem lies: a national passport is no guarantee of integration. However, it facilitates the concealment of cultural origins, from disintegration to violence.
The Federal Government, the Greens and the SPD in particular, with the Chancellor leading the way, will now be talking about the nice, albeit theoretical, aspects of foreigner policy. Union, first of all the FDP, of course the AfD, will talk about the ugly aspects of foreign policy, which are underpinned by practice.
It’s going to be violent, it’s already happening. We should be factual.