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The Value of Foreign Life: when the law demands "integration" - Collidoscope Berlin
Until now, immigration policy in Germany has followed a pathway defined by residency, employment, and citizenship restrictions. Put another way, policy has been concerned with 3 primary questions: Who is allowed to stay, who is allowed to work, and who is, ultimately, allowed to participate fully in the political process of the Federal Republic. But something changed this past July, when German Parliament passed its first ever law mandating a particular type of immigrant and refugee integration. Source: DPA The new Integrationsgesetz mandates fulfillment of a German principle of social and economic assimilation. This principle has little precedent, in terms of a comprehensive law. There have been expectations and additions to existing legislation in the past, but never has there been governmental action specifically devoted to the question of whether or not newcomers have found ways to fit in. And never has this governmental action been tied to sanctions, if benchmarks and timelines aren’t met. The new law measures the ability of newcomers to fare well on the basis of language and employment, with respect to natives: They are to learn German, well, within 5 years and become economically self-sufficient as soon as possible. Welfare and other subsidies are tethered to employment programs. Specific to [...]