Date
21 January 2017
Thomas de Maiziere says there cannot be unlimited stay for refugees who refuse to integrate into German society. Photo: Reuters
Thomas de Maiziere says there cannot be unlimited stay for refugees who refuse to integrate into German society. Photo: Reuters

Germany to refugees: Integrate or leave

Germany is planning a new law that will require refugees to learn German and integrate into society, or else lose their permanent right of residence.

The initiative comes after voters punished Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives in regional elections earlier this month. Reuters reports.

They rejected open-door refugee policy, turning in droves to the anti-immigrant party Alternative for Germany.

Reuters is reporting that Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere proposing a new law that will require refugees to integrate into society or leave.

About one million migrants arrived in Germany last year, many fleeing conflict and economic hardship in the Middle East and Africa.

Maiziere said more than 100,000 more have arrived this year.

“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, wants “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.

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