The left-wing coalition of Angela Merkel has blocked a legislation that could have given dual citizenship of thousands immigrants that live in Germany. This decision comes despite the fact that Germany is trying to recruit skilled immigrants, who will help the country to overcome the inefficiencies in the local work market. The bill will hit mostly Turks, who constitute largest ethnic minority in the country. The new bill was immediately criticized by Social Democrats.
“Merkel has said she wants a welcoming culture, and yet the current law on nationality doesn’t foster integration but rather forces people to give up their heritage,” said Thomas Oppermann, parliamentary floor leader of the Social Democrats. He added the Germany needs more immigrants.
Merketl however answered that according to her the key to attracting highly skilled immigrants is not to give foreigners dual citizenship but to lower the hurdles for immigrants to work in Germany and integrate efficiently. “For us, an expression of successful integration means that a person decides for Germany,” senior Conservative Ole Schroeder told the Bundestag lower house of parliament. “Social diversity is not dependent on people having several nationalities.”
The current German law does not allow dual citizenship although there are some exceptions such as citizens that come from other EU countries. Children of migrants who are born in Germany are allowed to keep both their German nationality and that of their parents until they turn 18, when they have to choose between the two.
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