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Immigration and integration

Germany is the most populous country in the European Union. Some 82 million people live on
German territory, a good one in six in what was formerly East Germany. The north and east in
particular are home to the national minorities of the Danes, the Frisians, the German Sinti and
Roma gypsies, and the Sorbian people. They have their own culture, language, history, and
identity.

Ever since the 1950s post-war boom the German economy has been dependent on immigrant
workers. The majority of those who were at the time referred to as “guest workers” have now
returned to their home countries in South and Southeast Europe, but many have stayed on in
Germany to earn their keep. Many of the Turkish immigrants who came to Germany at a later
date have also remained in the country. This has resulted in Germany gradually developing
from a country that accommodated guest workers to a country with regulated immigration.

Repatriates of German descent, who for generations have been living in the states of the
former Soviet Union, Romania and Poland, are a second major group of immigrants. Since the
collapse of the communist systems they have been returning to Germany in increasing
numbers.

These two groups of immigrants resulted in the per capita rate of immigration to Germany in
the 1980s being considerably higher than that of classic immigration countries such as the
USA, Canada and Australia. There are currently more than 15 million people with an immigrant
background living in Germany. According to the German Statistics Office this figures includes
all those people who have migrated to Germany as well as those born in Germany with at least
one immigrant parent. Some seven million of them are foreigners, while around eight million
have received German citizenship – though naturlization or because they are one of the four
million repatriates. After the repatriates, the 2.5 million immigrants from Turkey represent the
largest group, while a further 1.5 million come from former Yugoslavia or its successor states.
There are an estimated four million Muslims living in Germany.

Lots of immigrants work as unskilled laborers, as Germany recruited workers in particular for
simple activities. Studies have revealed that immigrant families in Germany have difficulty
climbing the social ladder or improving their economic situation. Nonetheless, over the past
two decades progress has been made with regard to integration: Acquiring German citizenship
was facilitated by law, contacts between immigrants and Germans are closer, and there is
more widespread acceptance of ethnic cultural variety. And the immigration law that came into
power in 2005 provides for the first time an all-embracing legal framework that considers all
aspects of immigration policy.

The Federal Government considers the subsequent integration of people with an immigration
background to be a focus of its work. It is foregrounding their incorporation in the labor market
and regards education and improving language skills as keys to integration. Since 2006,
Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel has held an Integration Summit, which representatives of
all social groups impacting on integration, including immigrant organizations, attend. Regular
checks are made to ensure that the most important result of the first Integration Summit, the
“National Integration Plan”, is being implemented. It contains concrete goals as well as over
400 measures for government, business, and social players. This way a network of “education
patrons” is being built up; so far more than 5,000 have become involved, supporting children
and young people from immigrant families in their education and vocational training. More than
500 companies and public institutions with over four million employees have joined the
“Charter of Diversity”. They see diversity as an opportunity and, among other things, have
committed themselves to granting improved training opportunities to young people with an
immigration background.

Sorce: http://www.tatsachen-ueber-deutschland.de/en/society/main-content-08/immigration-
and-integration.html
Germany learning to open arms to immigrants
Ata Ucertas, a doctor from Istanbul with a moustache that curls up his cheeks, was welcomed
with open arms when he came to Germany this year, evidence of a shift in German attitudes
as its population shrinks and labour becomes scarce. Helped by a shortage of doctors in
Germany, the 25-year-old Ucertas was issued with a visa to come learn German within two
months of applying. "The immigration officials were really nice to me," he said. After decades
of tending to depict the millions of residents of Turkish origin in Germany as a drag on society,
policymakers are now courting foreigners and learning to be more inclusive.
A fifth of residents and a third of school children have a migrant background, making up a
growing share of the electorate.
A decade ago when unemployment was high and immigration laws strict, Merkel's party
campaigned on slogans like "Kinder statt Inder" (Children instead of Indians). Now they are
calling for a "welcome culture" towards migrants. "The discussion about a welcome culture is
part of the whole process of becoming a country for which migration is normal." With
joblessness near its lowest level since the reunification of East and West Germany in 1990,
the country faces a shortage of 5.4 million skilled workers by 2025, despite attempts to mobilise
women and older people. Nearly 300,000 people, mainly from the European Union, migrated
on a long-term basis to Germany in 2011, OECD data shows, around a third more than in
2010. Most came from the eastern states that joined the EU in 2004, such as Poland.
Unnoticed revolution
Germany has long been notorious for its bureaucratic hurdles and an offputting attitude
towards economic migration. Influxes of asylum seekers and ethnic Germans from the ex-
Soviet Union in the 1990s and the challenges of reunification made Germany even more
reluctant to open up. Limits on migration from new EU members in the 2000s lasted longer
than elsewhere in the bloc.
But as Germany's job market improved in the 2000s, shortages occurred, and stop-gap
measures such as deals to recruit healthcare workers from China and the Philippines were not
enough to make up the shortfalls. Germany has been unwinding its recruitment ban, starting
with highly qualified workers and slashing the minimum salary and investment that workers
and entrepreneurs needed to immigrate.
This month it jettisoned 40 percent of its immigration rules, lowering barriers for medium-skilled
workers in sectors with chronic shortages such as train drivers and electricians. It is tackling
the language barrier by setting up new courses abroad and helping people get their
qualifications recognised so doctors do not have to work as taxi drivers. It is recruiting
foreigners to study at its universities and for its highly regarded apprenticeships, with a current
focus on areas of southern Europe with soaring youth unemployment.
Latent hostility
Immigration is rising so much that Germany's population grew in 2011 for the first time in nearly
a decade.
And many of the guest worker generation and their families still feel unwelcome, particularly
the non-Europeans.
Baris Yesildag, 26, selling baklava pastries on the Berlin Turkish street market, says he was
born in Germany to Turkish parents but had never been accepted as a German: "I did voluntary
military service here, but an officer told me I was only doing it for the money and not for
Germany."
While the far-right is politically weak, xenophobic views still make it into the mainstream debate
in Germany. Experts say hostility has been fuelled by the low status of the guest workers who
struggled to rise up the socio-economic ladder. Many Germans blamed this on their
unwillingness to integrate. In reality, a school system that streams pupils from a young age
and only teaches for half the day doesn't help guest workers' children learn good German and
means may are later stuck in low-skilled jobs.
The United Nations says Germany has been sluggish to tackle discrimination in areas like
housing, which have led to migrants living in ghettoised communities. Immigrants are also still
underrepresented in public office, the police and media. Crucially, however, the latest wave of
immigrants face fewer obstacles to social inclusion, not least because they are mostly highly
educated Europeans who have had language help.
CELEBRATING DIVERSITY
Former Social Democrat Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder started the drive for a more inclusive
society with the reform of a bloodline-based citizenship law dating back to 1913 to enable
immigrants to get nationality. He also brought in courses to familiarise newcomers with the
culture and language.
In a ceremony in Berlin, men and women from as far afield as Nigeria and China, sporting
attire from headscarves to African prints, beam as they receive their new citizenship papers.
Among them was Karolina Krolicka, a 22 year old Polish-born law student with a slight accent.
She arrived in Germany with her family years ago and wants to stay.Krolicka swore her
allegiance to the German constitution during the ceremony, which culminated in Germany's
new citizens rising to sing the national anthem. "I'm going to celebrate now," she said.

Sorce: http://www.newsamericasnow.com/germany-learning-to-open-arms-to-immigrants-
reuters/
Immigration Pros and Cons
Immigration, which can be defined as the moving away of people, from one's own country to
another country, in search of better standards of living or for education or to escape any ill
circumstances in one's own country, has been a world phenomenon since ages. Today, with
globalization and the entire world becoming a kind of single economy, where people are free
to move about to work or do business in any other country, immigration is pretty common and
a large phenomenon. Although, there are both advantages and disadvantages of immigration,
still they do not deter people from moving away from their own native land to live in some other
country. Given below are the commonly experienced and observed immigration pros and cons.
Pros and Contras of Immigration
Pros:
Better Standard of Living:
One of the most important advantages of immigration, on an individual level, is that people are
able to earn a lot more than in their native country and thus, have a better standard of living.
Personal and Professional Growth:
Another advantage of immigration is that when people from different cultures, with their own
set of values and ways of working, come in contact, they tend to imbibe some of the useful
and good values and working methods of the others and thus, grow as individuals and
professionals.
Cheap Labor:
Immigrants of a country are often more willing to work hard and that too at lesser wages,
compared to the local population. Thus, providing cheap labor to the industry is another major
plus point of immigration and urbanization.
Economic Growth:
Speaking of the pros and cons of immigration in America, the biggest advantage of immigration
is that it increases the number of consumers, thus leading to more sales and profits for
companies. Also, more immigrants mean more sales tax, real estate tax, more insurances,
more loans, more contributions, etc. and all these lead to economic growth.
Contras:
Less Availability of Resources:
When there is huge influx in both legal and illegal immigration, the population of the country
increases. This puts unnecessary stress on the country's resources. So, there can be a
shortage of land or water or any other resource in the host country.
Increase in Unemployment:
Looking at the economic pros and cons of immigration, its biggest drawback is unemployment.
As the population increases, the jobs become scarcer, thus increasing the unemployment rate.
Financial Burden:
Immigration can be illegal too. Speaking of illegal immigration pros and cons, it can put a huge
financial burden on the state by way of the rehabilitation programs, which the government
organizes for illegal migrants.
Increase in Crime Rate:
Another disadvantage of immigration is that it can cause an increase in the crime rate. The
local population can retaliate against the immigrants for losing out on jobs while the immigrants,
unable to adjust to the new circumstances or due to lack of finances, can take to crime.
Health Hazard
The immigrants can sometimes bring with them certain viruses or diseases from their own
country. Although, there is a very slim chance of this today, with proper screenings of all
immigrants taking place before they enter a country.
These are some of the immigration pros and cons. Immigration facts state that this process
has been beneficial in uplifting many people out of poverty. At the same time, it has led to loss
of cultural identity for many. Immigration provides the industry with cheap labor, at the same
time, it raises unemployment amongst the local population. Immigration causes brain drain in
a country while leaving the host country with more expertise. Thus, in the end it can be said
that just like there are two sides of a coin, immigration has its own ups and downs,
nevertheless, it is something which cannot be avoided. So, it is up to the governments to make
the whole process of immigration as foolproof and comfortable, both for the immigrants and
the local population, as possible.
Sorce: http://www.ibuzzle.com/articles/immigration-pros-and-cons.html