For the leading German parties, finding common ground on immigration policies has been an ongoing battle. There have been disagreements from the start; and there are still disputes over the new laws, despite a draft bill being approved
Both the Green party and the Free Democratic Party (FDP) say that the bill isn’t enough. And the Christian Democrats (CDU), Christian Social Union (CSU) and Social Democrats (SPD) are still disputing whether the legislation should be considered “immigration law” or not.
The SPD want it to be immigration law. However, the CDU and CSU don’t as, according to the CSU, suggests Germany welcomes immigrants – the party has suggested “law on immigration of skilled workers” as an alternative.
This is part of a larger struggle between the parties as to whether Germany should welcome non-skilled, non-EU migrants. If no, which skills and qualifications should be accepted? And which of the hurdles should be removed to ensure Germany has enough skilled workers?
According to the Greens, who are against the new laws, the proposals “do not support immigration”. They believe that it should be easier to non-EU migrants to work in Germany, especially when they have vocation training.
At the moment, migrants with degrees can enter Germany and are given a six-month visa while they look for work. The Greens want this extended to professionals with vocational qualifications and experience. They also want visas to be made available to young migrants looking to find a place on a training course in Germany.
The Free Democratic Party (FDP) has also criticized the government’s plans, although for different reasons. Studies have shown that there is a high annual demand for skilled workers that aren’t being met, and the FDP want a points-based system to accommodate for this.
Under the current Blue Card system, migrants need to have a university degree, and employment contract, and a minimum salary of €53,600 gross. The party believes that Germany should move towards a points system, similar to those in Canada and New Zealand, in order to attract more skilled workers.
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