Germany offers refugees to integrate or lose residency

Germany plans new law to require refugees to integrate and learn language or lose residency rights

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere.

German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said Germany may soon apply a law requiring refugees to learn German and integrate into society or face deportation.

The initiative comes after Chancellor Angela Merkel’s open-door policy which aims for welcoming refugees.

In the last year, approximately one million refugees arrived in Germany, 100,000 more had arrived in 2016 so far due to conflict and economic hardship in the Middle East and Africa.

Germany expected that in return for language lessons, social benefits and housing, the new arrivals made an effort to integrate, he told ARD television.

"For those who refuse to learn German, for those who refuse to allow their relatives to integrate - for instance women or girls - for those who reject job offers: for them, there cannot be an unlimited settlement permit after three years," he said.

De Maiziere, who belongs to Merkel's conservatives party, added that he wanted "a link between successful integration and the permission for how long one is allowed to stay in Germany."

Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel welcomed the draft law, which is planned for May.

"We must not only support integration but demand it," Gabriel told mass-selling daily Bild.

Gabriel's Social Democrats, the junior partner in Germany's ruling coalition with Merkel's conservatives, also suffered losses in this month's elections in three German states.

TRTWorld, Reuters