'Green card' immigration to Germany falls in 2005

5th January 2006, Comments 0 comments

5 January 2006, BERLIN - The numbers of highly-qualified immigrants coming to Germany under a so-called 'green card' scheme fell in 2005, new figures released by the German government show.

5 January 2006

BERLIN - The numbers of highly-qualified immigrants coming to Germany under a so-called 'green card' scheme fell in 2005, new figures released by the German government show.

In 2004, 2200 professionals came to Germany under the 'green card' scheme introduced by Gerhard Schroeder's government to attract highly-qualified immigration. An additional 3800 people came to work in Germany under a scheme which makes it easier for scientists and high-level managers to get work permits. In January to August 2005, however, the figure was only 700, according to the Interior Ministry, suggesting that total numbers for 2005 will only be around 1000.

Jürgen Wuttke, the labour market expert of the Confederation of German Employers' Associations (BDA), told the Berlin daily Tagesspiegel that the immigration regulations were "too restrictive." If the German economy was doing better, "we would quickly see a lack of specialist staff," he said. SPD politician Dieter Wiefelspütz told the Tagesspiegel that "the rules are far too bureaucratic."

Other immigration figures were also down in 2005. The number of asylum seekers coming to Germany fell to 26768 in the period January-November 2005, down from 35600 in 2004. The number of Jewish immigrants from the former Soviet Union showed a particularly marked decline, down from 11208 in 2004 to 5968 in 2005.

However recently-introduced 'integration' courses have proved to be a success. "Where courses have been offered, people have been going to them," commented the FDP's spokesman on the interior, Max Stadler. 105,000 immigrants completed language courses in 2005, mostly immigrants who had already lived in Germany for some time.

However the Greens' spokesman on the interior, Volker Beck, complained that the number of courses offered is still too small, and called for more measures to promote integration of immigrants, such as German lessons for children of immigrants before they start school. Beck also urged that Muslims should be treated exactly the same as other religious communities in Germany.

Only two German states, Bavaria and Baden-Wuerttemberg, have taken advantage of anti-terror regulations introduced in the new immigration law of January 2005. Since November 2004, Bavaria has expelled 27 Muslims for "agitating or preaching hate" and has issued 20 additional expulsion orders. Baden-Wuerttemberg has expelled one person for "Islamist extremism."

Copyright Expatica News 2006

Subject: German news

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