Student News Report by Yiran Wang:
According to the news agency Reuters, Germans are becoming more inclusive toward immigrants. In past decades, Germany was known for its strict immigration laws and unfriendly attitudes towards immigrants. Due to unemployment in the 1970s oil crisis, the challenges of reunification and other issues, Germany was reluctant to accept more immigrants.
As Germany’s job market improved in recent years and there appeared a shortage of skilled workers, Germany began to accept more immigrants, starting with highly educated immigrants. Former Social Democrat Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder aimed to reform the bloodline-based citizenship law to enable immigrants to apply for German citizenship.
The changing attitudes are reflected in the most recent federal election, especially in the rhetoric of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative party. A decade ago, Merkel’s party campaigned on slogans like ‘Kinder statt Inder’ (Children instead of Indians), but they are now calling for a ‘welcoming culture’ towards immigrants.