New German Government Plans to Simplify Citizenship for Migrants
© AP Photo / Alexander AuerGerman police officers and migrants stand in front of an asylum center after a woman was found dead in the center in Regensburg, Germany, Saturday, May 11, 2019
© AP Photo / Alexander Auer
Germany has long been one of the main destinations for the illegal migrants coming into the EU from the Middle East. The new German coalition government insists its immigration policy will decrease the number of illegal migrants settling in the country, while acknowledging that it won't influence the dynamics of current immigration flows.
The new "traffic light coalition" government in Germany plans to amend the country's immigration policy making it easier for foreigners to gain citizenship.
Not only will applicants be allowed to keep their previous citizenship, but they will also have to meet fewer requirements to get German citizenship. For instance, a person would have to live in Germany for only five years instead of eight. A migrant worker will also have to meet lenient requirements for the German language. Furthermore, children of foreigners will also automatically be granted German citizenship if one of the parents has lived legally in the country for at least five years.
Traffic Light Coalition Under Fire Over Proposed Immigration Changes
The proposed changes to the nation's immigration policy have already prompted severe criticism from the former governing CDU/CSU alliance. CDU Vice Chairman Thorsten Frei accused the coalition of the Social Democrats (SPD), Green Party, and the Free Democrats (FDP) of "legalising illegal immigration" and creating new "incentives" for migrants to arrive in Germany.
FDP leader Christian Lindner, however, rejected the criticism as an attempt by the CDU/CSU to carve out a niche in their new role in the opposition after a staggering defeat in the general election earlier this year. Lindner argued that the "incentives" for migrants that the CDU vice chairman was talking about had in fact been created by the CDU itself.
30 September 2021, 08:32 GMT
The FDP leader argued that the migrants entering the EU often preferred Germany as their destination over other countries due to the extremely prolonged process of reviewing asylum applications. The process purportedly lasted so long that often by the end a migrant could already legally claim German citizenship regardless of the status of their asylum application.
Lindner promised that the new "traffic light coalition" will fix this by making the review process quicker "so that people have clarity and so that they won't receive the right of permanent residence". He noted that the coalition's immigration policy seeks to primarily attract qualified workers and "clever minds" to the country.