Integration commissioner Maria Böhmer has called for a concentrated effort to provide the 1.9 million foreigners in Germany who receive welfare with better career prospects. Aside from suggesting that immigrants need to be more willing to integrate she recognizes that many qualified immigrants are not able to work in their professional fields because their degrees and expertise are not recognized in Germany. She defends against reports that foreigners come to Germany in order to take advantage of the welfare system.
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I found this article interesting because it provides another side to the argument of foreigners abusing the welfare system. While there are surely some bad apples, some foreigners are forced onto welfare because they are not allowed to work in their professions. I really doubt that most people choose to be dependent on the state but rather turn to it because it is the best option. When welfare payments pay more than full-time work (or when people cannot find work at all) it is hard to ask people not to choose to receive state assistance. It will be interesting to follow future developments on this issue and watch for whether or not immigrants will find increased economic prospects in Germany.