Germany introduces new immigration laws
Thursday, June 14, 2007 at 17:35
Berlin (dpa ) – The German parliament signed off on a new law Thursday allowing thousands of long-term immigrants to stay legally as long they find work.
However, the law, which was drawn up by Chancellor Angela Merkel's ruling grand coalition government, met with stiff resistance from members of the nation's opposition who saw the new rules as failing to provide a framework for dealing with immigration in the country and to address its growing multi-cultural society.
Under the law about 100,000 foreigners whose applications for asylum have been rejected will be able to stay in the country indefinitely provided they find a job by the end of 2009.
German Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble defended the new rules, saying “integration must succeed”.
But members of Germany's opposition parties roundly attack the law with Hartfrid Wolff, a member of the liberal Free Democrats describing the bill as piecemeal, adding that it lacked an overall concept for overseeing immigration in Europe's biggest economy.
The government's plan is also aimed at cracking down on forced marriages with the legal age that a spouse can enter the country raised from 18 to 21.
In line with the moves in other nations, Berlin has also introduced a requirement for those seeking to move to the country to have basic German language skills.
As well some foreigners entering the country will asked to provide a digital photograph and fingerprints.