Fewer Late-Arriving Aussiedler, Fewer Entry Applications, but
More Problems With Integration
Weniger Spaetaussiedler, Weniger Aufnahmeantraege, Aber Mehr Integrationsprobleme
Presseerklaerung des Bundesinnenministeriums
"Fewer Late Arriving Aussiedler, Fewer Entry Applications, but More Problems With Integration." Volk auf dem Weg, February 2004, 4-5.
Translation from German to English by Alex Herzog,
As part of his status report at a year-end press conference in
Berlin on December 30, 2003, the official responsible for the German
Federal Government for Aussiedler affairs and national minorities,
Jochen Welt, also Member of the Bundestag, elucidated
on the content and objectives of the current Aussiedler policy of
the Federal Government.
"The number of Aussiedler and family members registered following
their arrival in Germany has once again decreased drastically in 2003.
With about 72,000 persons (91,416 during the previous year) we have
registered a decrease of about 20 percent," said Welt. And the
number of entry applications went down even more strongly by 32 percent
as compared to the previous year (66,833 then vs. 46,000 in 2003).
Number of Ausssiedler 1950 - 2003
Also showing a decrease this past year is the proportion of the
arrivals who are qualified in the German language. The percentage
of those of German descent, as defined in the federal refugee law,
i.e., those who passed a language test, has in the meantime gone
down to a mere 20 percent. The number of accompanying family members
or other relatives who usually have little or no German language
abilities is now at 80 percent.
Jochen Welt commented on these numbers as follows:
"The current statistics are of significance in several ways.
They do indicate that we continue to urgently need an act regarding
immigration. This law is intended to improve significantly the preconditions
for successful integration: for one thing, it will expand the number
of those individuals who have the right to take language courses,
and for another, it will require that those who wish to immigrate
first learn the German language in their current countries of origin,
thus making it easier for them to integrate socially and professionally
within Germany. It is a well-known fact that problems with integration
into German society have become more acute especially among youthful
immigrants. They are more susceptible to crime and the drug scene,
not in the least due to failure in school ascribed to lack of German
language ability, and because it is often against their own wishes
that they accompany their parents and families in leaving their
countries of origin. These factors can easily lead to explosive
social situations here in Germany.
In addition to making greater efforts toward better integration,
we must also enforce, as quickly as possible, the conditions required
by the immigration law concerning the acquisition of German language
abilities. It is regrettable that another year has gone without
passage of a new immigration act.
The real point is to avoid problems with integration, especially
for non-German family members of belated Aussiedler. However, developments
in this area have actually been in the negative direction, and this
must be corrected with maximal urgency. It is because of such factors
that the draft of the new immigration act makes entry of foreign
spouses and descendants of the belated Aussiedler rightfully dependent
on their taking and passing a language test in their countries of
current origin, and with sufficient skills. This should not only
ease their integration in Germany, but should also increase their
acceptance by the German population. I appeal therefore to those
responsible parties in the CDU/CSU [Christian Democratic Union/Christian
Socialist Union, the current political opposition party in the German
government] finally to give the green light toward passage of the
pending immigration act."
"The actual decrease in the number of entry applications has
multiple causes. A decisive factor may be that, subsequent to the
paradigm shift by the Federal Government concerning its assistance
policy, real assistance has been provided in a more targeted and
efficient manner. These efforts are now geared as assistance toward
self-help, in contrast to the expensive, often ineffective bad barely
manageable grand projects of earlier times," said Welt.
Most importantly, the support program has not been limited to only
a few regions, but expanded to a broad base. On the forefront are
such factors and measures as meeting places, work with the youth,
as well as individual assistance in qualifying for careers, fostering
language acquisition, and granting credits; thereby guaranteeing
effective expenditure of moneys and improving individual futures
at the local level. Opportunities have been taken advantage of,
leading to strengthening of some in their desire to remain without
emigrating. The numbers cited earlier shows this to be true.
In his concluding remarks, the representative for Aussiedler affairs
commented as follows:
"The Federal Government stands by its responsibilities toward
German minorities in their current countries of origin. It respects,
now and in the future, each person's individual decision to shape
one's future in their current home country or -- within the framework
of the procedures provided by the legal preconditions for entry
-- to emigrate to Germany.
In the coming years, the Federal Government will continue its goal-oriented
assistance policy, in cooperation with the governments of current
countries of origin. In the region of central and eastern European
nations, particularly of those that will enter the EU within the
coming years, the manner and duration of assistance will have to
be adapted to the process of integration into Europe, mindful not
to damage existing structures irreparably. At the same, the Federal
Government will strengthen its efforts in urging that all opportunities
for self-help by the German minorities are exhausted, and that governments
of current countries of origin assume their own responsibilities
for German minorities living in their countries.
Our appreciation is extended to Alex Herzog for translation
of this article.