German Government Agrees on Draft Law for Migrant Integration
The partners in Germany's governing coalition have agreed on a draft law that sets out a mix of requirements and incentives for migrants and refugees in order to spur their integration.
"Now that hundreds of thousands of refugees have arrived in our country, we have a double task: to manage and control refugee flows, and not only to register but to integrate the large numbers," German Chancellor Angela Merkel said at a news conference on Thursday, according to thelocal.de.
If migrants fail to take part in integration programmes such as language classes they will face sanctions such as cancellation of social benefits. Federal funds would be used to create 100,000 new jobs for migrants receiving benefits, but any migrant who quit the program would lose those benefits.
"We will differentiate between those with good and bad prospects for being allowed to stay, but there will be an offer for everyone who comes to us," Merkel said.
Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel hailed the new draft law on integration as a "historical step" in the regulation of the migrant inflow into Germany.
The draft will be formally voted upon during a closed-door session on May 24. Deutsche Welle noted in its coverage of the news that the draft legislation is “a response to the wave of predominantly Muslim refugees, most of them from the Middle East, Central Asia and Africa, who have been arriving in Germany.”
The draft proposes to provide easier financial support for new arrivals, lift the age limit for training schemes and cut the waiting time to enroll in integration courses.