Germany’s open door policy for refugees has been shifting in the weeks following an election that saw voters favor politicians who took a hard stance against the welcoming attitude, and a new law being pushed by German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere is a clear sign of this shift as it would require refugees to learn German and integrate into society, or else be forced to leave their new home.
De Maiziere, who belongs to Chancellor Angela Merkel’s CDU party, told ARD that by providing language lessons, housing and social benefits to refugees, it shouldn’t be too much to ask that they make an effort to integrate and contribute to the German society.
“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,” de Maizier said.
Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel weighed in on the proposed law, telling Bild that “we must not only support integration but demand it”.
The new law is being pushed for a May deadline, and if passed, Germany would be joining Austria, which passed a similar piece of legislation back in January.